They took his head as a trophy: Bison poisoned and decapitated on reserve

A half-ton bison was poisoned and decapitated so that his head could be used as a trophy. Sauron, named after the Lord of The Rings character, was found on the 800-acre Valdeserillas reserve in Spain’s eastern region of Valencia. The animal’s head was missing, with reserve spokesman Rodolfo Navarro saying the attackers wanted it for a trophy. Mr Navarro said the animal had been “the biggest and most powerful” of the herd and had become a “sort of symbol of the reserve”.

It must have been a gang because one person couldn’t commit this kind of brutality on their own.

Nature reserve spokesman Rodolfo Navarro

Mr Navarro said the 12 bison in the heard were brought to Spain from the Netherlands, Ireland and Britain after years of planning. Investigators have not found any bullets or cartridges at the scene and experts think there were at least two people involved and they used an axe. Three other bison are missing, presumed dead, and five others are ill with diarrhoea but responding well to treatment. “It was like a murder,” Mr Navarro said. “It’s just senseless and it has really damaged not only our image and Valencia’s, but also Spain’s.”