Second bison found decapitated as Spain struggles to protect wild animals

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LESS than one week after the herd’s alpha male was found decapitated at a Valencia nature reserve, another European bison has been found headless by park staff who now suspect a concerted effort by hunters looking for lucrative souvenirs. 

The death of 600kg Sauron, the leader of the recently introduced herd, raised alarm bells on Friday September 16 and now Spanish authorities led by Seprona, the wildlife protection agency, are investigated after another bison was found the following Thursday.

Both animals were decapitated after death and neither had any bullet wounds or other signs of injury leading investigators to consider that they were poisoned before the heads were taken as a “trophy”. 

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The mysterious events have taken place at the Valedeserrillas reserve inland from Valencia which has played a key role in the reintroduction of European bison, hunted almost to extinction in the early 20th century.

A protected brown bear was shot dead in northern Spain earlier in September, while Asturian police are still searching for the suspects behind the gruesome decapitation of wild wolves, whose heads were symbolically hung from fences. 

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