POLICE and animal welfare officers were today attempting to unravel the bizarre case of a dead sheep found on a pedestrian crossing in a city housing estate.
• Dead sheep found on pedestrian crossing in Muirhouse
• Police attempting to piece together case
The mystery in Muirhouse has set the social media site Twitter into overdrive, with even Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh in on the act.
Authorities are no closer to finding out exactly what happened or who is responsible.
The animal was discovered in Pennywell Road, outside Muirhouse shopping centre, at around 8.20pm on Sunday with initial speculation that it was left there as a prank.
The police removed the animal and today confirmed that an investigation was under way.
The council’s deputy leader, Steve Cardownie, who represents the Forth ward, where the discovery was made, said he was “bemused”.
“It would have been quite distressing, particularly for young children.
“It begs the question of how it was dumped. I think it would have had to be brought there in a vehicle – people carrying a dead sheep wouldn’t have got very far”.
Sheep have been known to graze at nearby Silverknowes, although sources said it is believed that it was dead before it was left in the road.
Anne O’Hare, manageress at nearby Doo’cot pub, said that a local had told her he believed the sheep had been taken from Lauriston Farm.
She added: “I thought it was a wind-up when I was told.”
A photograph of the sheep dead in the road soon began circulating on Twitter and Facebook, with many expressing outrage.
One tweeted: “I’m actually nearly greeting at how there’s a dead sheep in Muirhouse, what a wee shame!”
A Twitter user called Hannah contacted the police to express her concern over the incident.
Another, Lindsey Kettles, blamed the incident on unruly youths and said it was “utterly disgusting”.
Others were more light-hearted about the find. After being asked about the sheep, writer Welsh tweeted: “If I was Drylaw polis I’d have every Pringle wearer in for questioning. Big O.T. opportunities.”
The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it had no idea how the sheep came to be found in the middle of the road.
But the charity’s deputy chief superintendent, Tom Gatherer, added: “We would urge anyone who knows anything about the matter to contact Lothian and Borders police.”
A police spokesman said: “Police were called to Pennywell Road on Sunday evening after a dead sheep was found in the roadway. Officers attended and the animal was removed, and enquiries are now under way in order to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident.”