The young animal, which had not yet been given a name by staff at the Slottsskogen animal park in Gothenburg, was known simply as “the little white goat”. But it was nowhere to be seen when workers did their regular Monday morning count this week.
As they scoured nearby green spaces and woodland, a visitor ended up discovering the injured goat in a remote area of the park. The animal had been burned and had sustained severe wounds that indicated it had been raped. Staff at the park called in vets who put the goat to sleep.
“It's awful, it hurts your whole body, when you hear about people doing these kind of things,” Per Åberg, a spokesperson for Slottskogen, told The Local on Tuesday.
“We have contacted police but they have got a hard job to find the kind of person who does things like this,” he said.
Åberg said that staff would spend Tuesday investigating how to step up security at the park, which opened in 1874 and is popular with both local families and tourists.
It includes a children's zoo and is home to a number of projects designed to preserve species native to the Nordic region that are under threat, including the rare Humbolt penguin.
Many of the animals, including goats, elk, sheep and ponies are usually allowed to roam freely in the attraction's vast grassy areas. But Åberg suggested that some of the park's animal residents would be locked inside their enclosures overnight while investigations continued.
“It is a heavy day, it is sad, but we must manage and we must go on – because we have a lot of animals that we must take care of,” he said.
“We have a lot of good things going on in the animal park and we want to keep fighting and so that more visitors can come to see them (…) It's a very educational place or you can just to come to relax,” he told The Local.