Bison decapitated, three missing from Spanish reserve

September 20, 2016
The European bison, the continent's largest wild land mammal, once roamed across most of the continent but it was severely hunted until it finally became extinct in the wild in 1927

Spanish police were on Tuesday investigating the decapitation of a European bison and the disappearance of three others from a nature reserve which was set to start a breeding programme for the species.

The headless body of Sauron, the 660-kilo (1,455-pound) of a small herd, was found Friday at the private Valdeserillas reserve in the eastern region of Valencia, reserve spokesman Rodolfo Navarro told AFP.

The animal may have been decapitated by hunters that wanted its head as "a trophy", he said.

Sauron appeared to have been decapitated with an axe, the central government's representative in Valencia said.

Three others from the eight-strong herd are missing and could be sick or frightened, Navarro said.

Staff were searching the 330-hectare (815-acre) reserve for the missing animals including in areas that can only be reached by foot, he added.

The rest of the herd were sick earlier this month, possibly due to poisoning, Navarro said.

The owners of the reserve plan to introduce female bison to the site later this year to allow the herd to reproduce.

The European bison, the continent's largest wild land mammal, once roamed across most of the continent but it was severely hunted until it finally became extinct in the wild in 1927, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

The animal has been reintroduced into the wild across Europe over the past few decades and the species' global population now stands at around 5,500, according to the environmental organisation.

Explore further: European bison released into wild Carpathian range

Related Stories

Ancient beasts roam Spain's wilderness

March 2, 2014

In an oak wood spanning the border of Spain and Portugal, an ancient sight unfolds: wild horses, not saddled or shoed, but roaming free as they did centuries ago.

European bison return to Spain: reports

June 6, 2010

The nearly extinct European bison has been reintroduced after centuries in Spain with seven animals coming from a rare herd in Poland, Spanish media reported Saturday.

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.