POLICE are probing the death of a New Forest sheep reportedly found cut open with its entrails removed.
This comes weeks after a spate of animal stabbings late last year sparked fears a Satanic-style cult was active in the district.
Describing the latest incident in a field off Rodlease Lane, near Boldre, as “criminal damage”, a Hampshire police spokesperson said officers were not connecting it with the previous offences.
As reported in the A&T, a ewe was knifed to death and marked with pentagrams, and two calves and a heifer were also injured within a few miles of each other in the Bramshaw area.
These incidents took place in the space of five days in November, and the 12th century St Peter’s Church on Judds Hill was also targeted by offenders who sprayed its walls with phallic and Satanic symbols.
As well as an inverted cross, they had sprayed ‘666’, the biblical number of the devil.
The latest dead sheep near Boldre was discovered on Wednesday 18th December and reported to police on Christmas Eve.
A post about the incident on a local Facebook page detailed grisly circumstances, but a Hampshire police spokesperson told the A&T it was “unclear how the sheep died”.
The Facebook post said: “Suspicious attack on a sheep in the parish. It was found slit from neck to crotch with entrails removed.
“The owner and family are devastated by the cruelty to their harmless animal.”
Those with information should contact officers on 101, quoting crime reference number 44190461446, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.