September 29, 2016 - 12:41 PM
SAINT-EUSTACHE, Que. - Police near Montreal have asked for the public's help in finding out who killed and mutilated an ostrich described by its owner as "proud and beautiful."
The three-metre-tall male bird was found stabbed to death on Sept. 4, said Saint-Eustache police spokesman Normand Brulotte.
He said the ostrich was discovered in its farm enclosure with its legs cut off but he did not say what kind of weapon was used.
The farm owner said he began screaming when he saw what had happened to his bird, who went by the name of Toron.
"I panicked, my heart was beating its maximum," Nicolas Charbonneau told The Canadian Press. "I didn't know what to think, I don't know how anyone could do that."
He called Toron a "proud and beautiful" seven-year-old breeding male who was born and raised on his ostrich farm.
"We live on our farm and these animals are part of our lives, so an attack on them feels like a personal attack," he said.
He said the incident occurred in an isolated area and that whoever did it probably came in a car or on a four-wheeler.
Local anti-crime activists have offered a $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Brulotte said he hopes the reward and media attention will encourage someone to call the tip line.
"This is not an event we see every day," he said. "Whoever did it must have talked to someone."
He said police had no record of similar attacks in the area, adding this was the worst animal cruelty case he has seen in his 30 years as a police officer.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016