Dead cow mystery solved

Floating cows were purposefully tossed overboard in the Baltic

The mystery of dead cows washing up on Danish and Swedish beaches has been solved. The 14 dead and mutilated bovines were most likely tossed into the Baltic Sea by the crew of a Lebanese ship after it ran into a storm and a number of cows died, according to Danish police.

“Police suspect that the source is a Lebanese ship that was carrying live cattle from a US port to Europe,” South Zealand and Lolland-Falster police said in a joint statement.

A request by the crew to unload the dead cows at a Russian port was denied. The cattle were then most likely tossed overboard about 18 kilometres off of the Danish Island of Bornholm.

READ MORE: New clues in beached cows mystery

The bizarre beaching of nine cows on the beaches of south Sweden and five in Denmark has been the subject of much speculation, especially after it was revealed that some of them had been shot with bolt guns and had their ears mutilated.

The animals also had their back legs tied together and their stomachs cut open.

“The reason the stomachs had been slit open was probably to ensure the animal sank, and the back legs were probably bound so that a crane could grab and hoist the cow overboard,” read the statement.

The ears had been cut to remove identifying earmarks, according to police.

Police continue to investigate, and said that the Lebanese vessel is currently docked “at a port in the Baltic Sea”.

The ship’s operators could face charges for illegal dumping in the Baltic Sea.