Hedgehog crossbow killer sought by Cambridge RSPCA

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Media captionThe RSPCA believes the hedgehogs may have been shot with a crossbow

Hedgehogs found dead in a park near a Cambridge school could have been killed by a crossbow, the RSPCA has said.

Inspectors were called to Cherry Hinton after residents reported more than 10 bodies, with marks suggesting an arrow had been used, and then removed.

In June 2011 a number of hedgehogs were found dead in the same location, killed in a similar way, a spokesman said.

He described the latest cases as "cruel in the extreme" and appealed to the public for information.

'Very disturbing'

One resident Tracy Okten, said: "We saw the hedgehogs had been treated in the same way as the ones last year.

"We found three bodies kicked into a bush and then another pile of bodies. I reckon there were about 11 hedgehogs in all.

"The ones kicked into a pile had been impaled. It looked like something had been pulled through them," she added.

Insp Richard Lythgoe, who retrieved the hedgehogs from the park, said: "I can't think how people can do this without a guilty conscience.

"To think that someone could be out there doing this for no apparent reason, and just to discard the bodies at the end of it, seems mindless really."

He added: "There is really no justification at all for killing a wild creature in this manner.

"They definitely would have suffered before they died.

"It's also very disturbing that a similar thing happened here this time last year.

"There is obviously someone in this area who thinks it's acceptable to attack animals in this way."

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