The disturbing incident took place at Kogileru village of Peddapanjani block on Saturday evening.
According to the police, the cow was grazing in the nearby forest area, when it came across the ball wrapped in some edible substance. When it tried to crack, it exploded in its mouth, said Peddapanjani police inspector Ch Lokesh Reddy. The lower jaw of the cow got ripped off.
Hearing the explosion, local cattle grazers rushed there and shifted the cow to the gaushala, where it was given first aid. Later, it was shifted to the government veterinary hospital in Tirupati. Doctors are expected to perform a surgery on the cow later on Monday or early Tuesday.
Gaushala caretaker Arjun Reddy said the doctors were unable to say if the cow would recover. The cow is currently on Intravenous Fluid.
The police have taken three hunters into custody and are questioning.
A case under Indian Penal Code sections 286 (Negligent conduct in using explosives) and 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle) Section 11 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 and Section 9 (B)(1) of the Explosives Act was registered against unknown persons.
The gaushala workers regularly take the cows to the forest for grazing, considering that there are medicinal plants that give them protein.
Two days ago, a group of people in Khammam district of Telangana hanged a