WARNING — GRAPHIC IMAGES: A Tasmanian farmer was left searching for answers after making a terrifying find on his property on Monday morning.
The farmer approached his flock around 8.30 am and found a "dead newborn lamb" on the grass, yet it was the unusual condition of the carcass that left him utterly confused. "It has been eaten, everything except the head and spine," the farmer's sister wrote online. "Spine is picked clean, and the skin has been left untouched."
She continued by saying her brother who has "farmed for many years" has "never seen" an animal carcass in the same state, reaching out to a field naturalist community online to ask if anyone had any clue.
"The carcass weight would be around six kilograms," she wrote.
Online group guesses what killed lamb
The group proposed a long list of possible predators which could have been responsible for the lamb's death, or at least for the state in which it was found by the farmer.
Due to the location of the animal attack, the Tasmanian devil was quickly thrown in as a suggestion, however, the animal was discredited as they are seemingly known to eat their prey's skin, with the lamb's skin in this case being "virtually untouched".
A dog was also disregarded after it was confirmed only one of the farmer's animals had been killed, with the online group believing a dog "would usually do a lot more damage to a flock of sheep". Ravens, wallabies and cats were all thrown into the ring as the possible predator.
Expert weighs in on mystery
Veteran Tasmanian ecologist Nick Mooney explained the remains would need to be examined to accurately conclude what happened to the lamb in question, but it's unlikely only one animal was responsible for its condition.
"My bet is it was stillborn and in the day was inverted by ravens or hawks, and picked over at night by a quoll or two," he told Yahoo News Australia, explaining his educated guess was based on the animal's skin still being intact.
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