Man arrested over horse killings and mutilations in France

News

A man has been arrested over a string of horse mutilations and killings across France.

The suspect was arrested in the Haut-Rhin department in the east of the country, according to French media.

More than 20 horses have been found with their ears cut off, eyes gouged out and genitals mutilated since the start of the year.

On Saturday night, police launched a major search operation in Côte-d’Or region of eastern France after a farmer spotted two people on his land.

The suspects got away before officers reached the scene.

But on Monday, a man was detained after a e-fit image was circulated of a suspect, a police source said.

Authorities in the central region of Yonne constructed computer-generated image thanks to the help of Nicolas Demajean, a stable manager whose premises were attacked in August, the Guardian reported.

Mr Demajean was injured after attempting to confront two attackers, who cut two ponies and mutilated a horse.

Detectives are still working to identify motives for the attacks, with theories ranging from satanic rituals, macabre trophy hunts or internet challenges,

“For now there are no clues,” a police spokesman said.

Remy Marehcal, a farrier who shoes horses in the northern town of Preux-au-Bois, described discovering one pony with its eye gouged out in July, and two horses injured in August.

“At first, I thought it was accidental. I told myself, in a small village like this, it cannot be possible,” Mr Marechal said.

Investigations continue.