‘STUNNED and horrified’ is how a family reacted to the discovery that two calves at their Princethorpe farm had been shot with a crossbow.
The animals, one of which has died, were discovered with arrows sticking out of them at Burnthurst Farm on Sunday morning (June 23).
A one-month-old calf died after being shot twice in the shoulder, while the prognosis is uncertain for a four-month-old calf which was shot in its rear leg.
Farmer’s daughter Megan Stephens said: “It has sickened us that anyone could use our little calves as target practice with such a weapon.”
She told The Observer how her ‘stunned’ family made the gruesome discovery.
She said: “We noticed all of the cows and calves were huddled around the water trough, instead of being spread out around the field.
“We noticed a single calf on its own in the middle of the field, with its mother nervously walking towards the calf and then back to the herd.”
That is when she walked over to the calf and noticed two arrows sticking out of its shoulder.
“Horrified at the sight, we walked the cows back to the yard so that we could see the damage, noticing another calf had been shot in the rear leg.”
The family immediately called a local vet and reported the attack to the police.
Megan continued: “As the second arrow was pulled out of the younger calf’s shoulder, it dropped to the floor as the arrow had punctured its lungs, and it died 10 minutes later as the vet monitored its breathing. The calf was earmarked as a breeding heifer.”
She said the older calf was on a course of antibiotics because the arrow went in deep and may have caused peritinitus, an infection of the abdomen.
She added: “It is beyond me how on earth any human being can do something like this, leaving the calves in such pain and causing so much heartache for the mothers and for us.”
The attack is believed to have occurred sometime between 7pm on Saturday (June 22) and 10am the following day.
Warwickshire Police rural crime officer Carol Cotterill said: “This was a despicable attack. We are particularly interested in hearing from anyone who was in the area over the weekend and saw anything suspicious.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Warwickshire Police on 101 quoting incident 128 of June 23, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.