Prize winning lamb kicked to death at school calf day
An eight-year-old girl is devastated after a teenage boy kicked her prized pet lamb to death at a school calf club event.
Ella Ensor and her pet lamb Crystal were named the junior champions at the Oropi School Calf Club event when the eight-year-old saw a teenager terrorising the animal.
The 10-week-old purebred Suffolk lamb had been tied up to a fence behind her car on the edge of the field when Ella discovered two boys near her.
Her mother Sarah said Ella saw one boy kick Crystal several times.
She yelled out "hey, stop kicking my lamb!" The boys then ran away.
Ella didn't tell her parents what had happened.
"I think because she is such a strong kid she thought she handled the situation.
"When we got home the lamb was slow and tired. We thought maybe she was just tired from the big day."
Crystal sat down like she was going to go to sleep, but she never woke up.
Ella started screaming when it was discovered that Crystal had died.
She had cared for Crystal since the lamb was four days old, and would get up every morning to spend time with her, even in the rain.
The family thought Crystal may been poisoned but an autopsy revealed the lamb's whole left side of the body was bruised, her liver full of blood.
"It's been pretty devastating," Ensor said.
"It was a pretty hard weekend, I've never cried so much in my life."
She said she was disgusted in the actions of the boy and wanted to educate him about animal welfare.
"It's no reflection of the school. It was such an amazing day ruined by this boy.
"I want the knowledge to get out there. Children should be taught how to care for animals. He does need to realise what his actions have caused."
Principal Andrew King said the school had requested that anyone who had attended the event who may have seen unusual behaviour to contact him directly.
"We tried to get info from teachers, community members, but unfortunately no information has come to light."
The SPCA received a complaint earlier this week about the incident.
Animal welfare inspector Jason Blair said the organisation was investigating the incident.
"We're trying to establish the facts, we're reliant on further information."
He has asked for anyone with information to contact the Tauranga SPCA on 07 578 0245.