A European Bison was reportedly found poisoned and decapitated in the Valdeserrillas Reserve in Valencia, Spain on Friday. Other animals across the reserve have also reportedly been poisoned, and others are nowhere to be found.
Image Credit: Carlos Alamo/Facebook
The European Bison is considered vulnerable by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and there are only believed to be a little more than 5,500 of them in the wild today. They have faced terrible dwindling numbers over the years due to habitat development and hunting. The reserve was supposed to be an attempt to conserve the species.
Authorities are currently looking for the person(s) who committed the heinous act on the animal. The European Bison’s carcass was found headless by the reserve’s staff and apparently belonged to a known specimen who went by the name Souron. He was reportedly the largest and strongest of the herd. At more than 1,700 pounds, he was a star at the reserve.
“He was called Sauron after the Lord of the Rings character because he was the biggest and the most powerful,” said Rodolfo Navarro, a spokesman for the reserve. “He was a beautiful animal that weighed nearly 800 kilograms [1,764 pounds]. He was sort of the symbol of the reserve.”
The head may have been taken as a kind of trophy of sorts to be sold on the black market by a team of wrongdoers, as one person alone wouldn’t have been strong enough to do this. Reports indicate that the head appeared to be bluntly removed by way of axe, and that the poisoning was a way to weaken the herd to make the attack possible.
Police have taken blood and fur samples from the carcass to attempt to find traces of the poison that might lead to its origin. Forensic analysts can track down its composition and then head to the sources to dig for clues.
“It was like a murder,” Navarro continued. “It’s just senseless and it’s really damaged not only our image and Valencia’s, but also Spain’s.”
Source: The Guardian, Facebook