The French police are investigating a recent series of brutal attacks on horses and ponies in the countryside, after at least 15 dead and mutilated bodies were discovered this year. The police believe that there could be a link between all 15 deaths, as each dead horse was found in a similar state — mangled and missing body parts, news agency AFP reported.
The animal killers allegedly attacked the horses, killed them and severed some of their body parts — such as their eyes, ears or muzzles. Some animals were found with severe injuries to their genitals. The police have warned the owners of farm animals to remain on high alert until the perpetrator of the crime is finally nabbed.
Nicolas Demajean, the owner of an animal refuge in France’s Burgundy, had a close brush with two of the suspected animal killers. The owner sustained a knife injury when he confronted the two men, who had broken into his property and slain two ponies and a horse.
“I don’t know why, but they came here to kill, that’s for sure. It seems to be some kind of ritual. This is a really quiet village. We never for one minute imagined it would happen here,” Demajean told The Guardian. “Now we have to find the money to pay the vet’s bills and try to install better security and cameras to protect the animals.”
Earlier this month, in France’s Jura region, a horse was found by its owner with one eye gouged out and a piece of bone removed, the Independent reported. The animal later succumbed to his injuries. In another such incident, an 18-month-old foal in Eastern France was stabbed in the heart before several of its body parts were removed.
Strangely, no meat was taken from a majority of the carcasses. Police are looking into whether the barbaric attacks are linked to satanic rituals or some sort of online challenge. They have issued public advisories on social media, urging local breeders and equestrian centres to remain vigilant.