Lambs are shot dead

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POLICE are hunting a gunman who assassinated lambs at a country park.

The gruesome discovery was made at Cuerden

Valley Park in Chorley.

Park bosses said they were “shocked” by the slaughter – the lambs were just three weeks old.

Park manager Jim Longbottom said: “We found three had been shot dead and found another that later had to be put down.

“They had been shot in the head or neck.

“We found when we got to one of the dead ones, the blood was still fresh and pumping out and it had not been long dead.

“They were still warm.

“We suspect, looking back, they (gunman) was probably still around

somewhere.”

Mr Longbottom said sheep have been kept on the 650-acre park for 15 years.

“Nothing like this has happened before,” he said. “I was shocked.”

The lambs were found at about 3pm on Monday.

“We’ve moved the sheep to another field now further away in a different area of the park,” said Mr Longbottom.

“You can’t keep an eye on them all the time.”

The Buckshaw Village Community Association said it was “awful news”.

The park, which is open all year round, now has 18 sheep and 19 lambs.

Police believe the gunman used “a high powered air rifle”.