A pregnant rare-breed sheep is thought to have been killed in a field in Hertfordshire.
Police are appealing for witnesses after the animal - a pedigree Greyface Dartmoor sheep which was in lamb with twins - disappeared from Kinsbourne Green Lane in Harpenden.
A pool of blood was found in the field where it is thought the sheep - called Jill - was killed. The body was then taken from the enclosure.
It happened between 4pm on February 20th and 12 noon on February 21st.
Investigating officer PC Jane Flemons said: “As you can imagine this terrible incident has caused the owner a great deal of distress and we are doing all we can to identify those responsible.
“This particular type of sheep is quite rare. If you were in the area during the stated times and saw anyone acting suspiciously, please get in contact as soon as possible.”
The sheep's owner, 52-year-old Marian Whittaker, from Kingsborune Green Lane, said she was "devastated".
She added: "She was a placid, friendly ewe who was no trouble at all. She produced two nice lambs each year and mothered them well. She was only six weeks away from giving birth and the lambs will just have been wasted. Who would kill a pregnant mum like that?"