A SMALL community is shocked after a decapitated wombat was found in a family picnic ground.
Police are investigating after a wombat’s remains were left “on display” in an alleged act of animal cruelty at Lyonville on Wednesday.
The wombat was found dead about 3pm after being decapitated on a picnic table in a public reserve within Wombat State Forest.
The body was left on top of a cage over a stairwell and its head impaled on the roof of a rotunda.
Local resident David Wellings said he was concerned about the motivation for someone to kill a wombat.
“If people can do such things to an animal, then they will probably do these things to a human too,” he said. “It’s just sick.”
Another resident, Nicki Lewis, doubted a local would have killed the wombat.
“It’s someone’s perverse display of art,” she said.
It follows another case of animal cruelty where a wombat was shot near Daylesford last month.
Trentham Sergeant Wayne Gatt said police were investigating both incidents but it was unclear whether the cases were related.
He attended the scene with DEPI’s Jim O’Brien on Thursday to further investigate the matter.
Mr O’Brien said authorities were taking the matters very seriously.
“Details are sketchy at this stage but ... we know the wombat as decapitated, most likely on the picnic bench, and then placed in view,” he said.
He said a member of the public had made the discovery shortly after the wombat was killed.
“Everyone was quite distraught by it all and we are just really hoping someone will come forward with some information,” he said.
“We want the people involved to be dealt with as soon as possible.”
Investigators are keen to speak to any witnesses of any suspicious activity in the area.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000 or lodge a confidential report to crimestoppersvic.com.au