The police and RSPCA have been called in after four ducks were killed in a Sheffield suburb.
WARNING: UPSETTING CONTENT BELOW:
It is believed that the ducks, which were kept by a family on The Grove, Totley, were stabbed to death.
They were attacked at some point between 7pm on Wednesday and noon on Thursday last week.
The incident has been reported to the RSPCA and South Yorkshire Police and in a bid to encourage people with information to come forward, owners Chris and Kate Caroe have released a photograph of their ducks in the aftermath of the attack.
The couple are now considering installing CCTV cameras in a bid to prevent any further attacks should they replace the ducks.
They described the attack as 'very sad situation'.
The couple said: "Our four ducks have been killed, and while we could never be sure, the only logical conclusion we have been able to reach is that they were knifed.
"We’ve unfortunately had hens killed by foxes in the past, and there was no sign of the mess that that leaves, and each bird had a single deep and localised injury.
"We had raised the ducks from chicks to lay eggs, and invested a significant amount of effort and money in rearing them to the point that two of them were just about to start laying. So you can imagine how upset we are as a family."
In a statement, they added: "I’m sure you’ll share our shock in coming to terms with the idea that someone might both be so bold as to both trespass into our back garden, and so cold blooded to kill our ducks in this way.
"It baffles us to think about what might motivate someone to do this - and would hope that those of us keeping hens or ducks aren’t a nuisance to any neighbours, and that people would feel able to say something if we were, which no-one ever has to us over the years.
"We have informed others that keep hens or ducks in the locality and they are equally concerned.
"We’ve also informed the police and the local neighbourhood watch as well as the RSPCA who were very concerned and comforting but unfortunately not able to take any action. "Nevertheless, for our own peace of mind, if you did see or hear anything suspicious over the last few days could you let us know?
"It’s very sad that we may have to resort to follow the advice the RSPCA have given us to install CCTV in order to both deter and collect evidence should it ever happen again."
Leanne Plumtree from the RSPCA said:"The RSPCA was called about the death of five ducks in a garden in Sheffield last week, four of which had sustained what appear to have been deliberate injuries.
"This was a shocking incident and we are very concerned about what happened here.
"Sadly it appears as though there were no witnesses to what happened at the moment.
"If anyone has any specific information please call the RSPCA appeal line 0300 123 8018 and ask to leave a message for inspector Kim Greaves."