GRAPHIC CONTENT: Investigation following sheep shootings in Scarborough

One of the sheep that was killed
One of the sheep that was killed

Five rare sheep have been shot in the Scarborough area.

Police are appealing for information about the incidents, which took place in the Throxenby and Scalby areas.

The wounded sheep

The wounded sheep

During July, five Soay sheep were shot with air pellets. Three have since died from their injuries. All of them were less than 18 months old. One was a young mother, with a six-week-old lamb which is now orphaned (pictured).

The Soays are on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust "at risk" list, because there are fewer than 1,500 breeding ewes in the country.

PC Tom Rollinson, of North Yorkshire Police's Rural Taskforce, is investigating the shootings. He said: "I am urging local residents to keep an eye out and report any suspicious activity to the police straight away."

Anyone with information about who is responsible for the shootings is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police. Please dial 101, select option 2, and ask for Tom Rollinson. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Please quote reference number 12160139063 when passing information.

Two of the sheep

Two of the sheep

North Yorkshire Police's Rural Taskforce is the largest of its kind in England. Its specially trained officers work closely with local groups and individuals to identify and solve issues of concern to rural communities; gather intelligence about those who target rural areas; take part in proactive operations to disrupt offenders; and provide a visible presence in rural towns and villages. To find out more, visit www.northyorkshire.police.uk/what-we-do/crime/rural-policing