WASHINGTON — U.S. Park Police say several birds and a goat have been found with their throats cut in Rock Creek Park in what may have been a ritualistic killing.

Park police spokeswoman Sgt. Lelani Woods says a person walking on an isolated path in the park north of 17th Street northwest on Tuesday found the bodies of eight animals. She says the animals included chickens, pigeons and a small goat.

Woods says police believe the animals were killed elsewhere and dumped before snow started to fall Tuesday morning. She says the uniform way each was killed leads investigators to believe it may have been part of a cult practice.

The bodies were turned over to animal control officers.

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