Phnom Penh - Officials and religious leaders are disputing claims by a Cambodian man that his cow is possessed by a magic healing spirit that emigrated from Thailand.
The animal's owner, Kim Chan, 40, of Kampong Trach district in the southern province of Kampot, claimed on Monday that excrement and urine from his cow could miraculously cure diseases since it became possessed by a heavenly entity last week.
The man said he had been visited by a woman on a bicycle who fell down and wept when she saw the cow, claiming to recognise in its eyes a spirit that had until recently possessed a cow in Thailand.
Local authorities were quick to dismiss the bovine, which has become known as Preah Kou, or Holy Cow, as an ordinary animal and warned people not to trust in any healing powers its owner claims it possesses.
"We had a holy cow here a year-and-a-half ago. You don't get two that close together. I think it's just not true," Kampong Trach deputy district governor Khun Somnang said on Tuesday.