Wombat decapitated near Daylesford: Video, pictures

UPDATE 12PM: A wombat which was decapitated and then impaled atop a rotunda near Daylesford is the second case of alleged animal cruelty in the region in two weeks, police say.

The wombat was discovered in a picnic area at Lyonville Mineral Springs just after 5pm on Wednesday.

The native animal's remains were left on display in the reserve, with body parts scattered on top of a cage near a spring and its head impaled on the roof of a rotunda.

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 is unclear whether they are 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. 

Video: EMMA-JAYNE SCHENK

"Details are sketchy at this stage but ... we know the wombat was decapitated, most likely on the picnic bench, and then placed in view," he said. 

He said a member of the public had made the grisly discovery shortly after the wombat was killed. 

"Everyone was quite distraught by it all and we want the people responsible to be dealt with as soon as possible."

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."

Police are now investigating possible leads after receiving "positive information" from the public this morning. 

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000 or lodge a confidential report to www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

EARLIER: Police are investigating an appalling act of animal cruelty in which the decapitated head of a wombat was found at the top of a rotunda in a tourist area in country Victoria.

The dead wombat was discovered in a picnic area at Lyonville Mineral Springs in the Wombat State Forest, east of Daylesford, just after 5pm on Wednesday.

The native animal's remains were left on display in the reserve, with body parts scattered on top of a cage near a spring and its head impaled on the roof of a rotunda.

No weapon was found near the site on Lyonville Springs Road and there are no CCTV cameras in the area.

Wombat Forestcare spokeswoman Gayle Osborne, who lives nearby, said the small picnic area was popular with visitors. 

"People pull up all the time to fill up their bottles with drinking water," she said. "It's awful. It's so shocking to think that there's people in our community that would do that." 

Police are investigating and want to speak to anyone who witnessed suspicious activity in the area.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000 or lodge a confidential report to www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

- THE AGE

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