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Durban - The carcasses of 12 goats - all shot at close range - were found dumped in the Sterkspruit River near Hillcrest on Sunday.
The goats, including suckling kids, were shot in another area and their carcasses were transported by the culprits to the river - which flows through the Shongweni Valley - for disposal.
The carcasses, some still in plastic bags, are believed to have been thrown from a bridge over the river on Saturday night or early on Sunday.
They were spotted lying in the shallow water on Sunday morning by a passersby, who reported the find to a nearby resident, Dave Leslie.
Leslie called the police and the SPCA, and then helped to retrieve the carcasses.
“The goats had all been shot, mostly in their heads,” he said. “It seemed a number of different calibre firearms had been used.”
He said enquiries in the valley revealed no evidence that the shootings had been done in that populated area.
“There were a couple of shots heard near here on Saturday, but not nearly enough to account for that number of dead goats.”
Leslie said speculation in the valley was that the goats had been shot by a frustrated property owner who had simply “had enough” of the nuisance caused by stray animals.
“Goats can do a lot of damage to gardens - even to trees,” he said.
He said he would do all he could to help the investigation in the hope that the culprits would be identified and prosecuted.