A couple have told of their shock after they discovered a decapitated fox in their garden.
Hazel and Graham Turner, from Langley, were alerted to the gruesome discovery one afternoon earlier this month by the boy who mows their lawn.
And Hazel, 67, who has lived in the village since 2007 with her husband Graham,69, said she believes it to be the work of a person rather than an animal.
She said: “The young man who does our lawn for us found the body among the shrubs. He thought it was a cat at first and ran over to tell us he’d found something gruesome in the garden.
“I was just horrified. It makes me feel sick to think the person or people responsible could be just walking around in my little village.
“It had to be a person that did it, not an animal, as it was a fresh cut on the neck, a pure, clean slice through the throat – there were no scratches or bites.
“It just makes you wonder what kind of weirdo could do something like this.”
The animal-loving couple, who have two dogs and regularly feed a female fox that visits their garden at night, feared at first that the dead fox might be the same one but were relieved to find it was not.
They also believe that the carcass of the dead animal and its head, which Hazel says were three or four metres apart, may have been thrown over the railings and are now urging others to be on the lookout for anyone committing animal cruelty in the area.
Hazel said: “People in the area tell me things like this have happened before to cats.
“I couldn’t even bring myself to look at the body but my husband did and was sickened, he just can’t imagine who would do such a thing.”
An RSPCA spokesperson said: “This must have been a distressing discovery for the person involved.
“It is difficult to know for sure what may have happened to the fox in this case but often animals found in this way can sadly be victims of road traffic accidents that were then scavenged by wild animals, leaving surprisingly neat wounds.”
The spokesperson added: “Anybody who has welfare concerns for any animal should call our 24-hour cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.