Israeli authorities said Sunday they are investigating the death of four rare ibexes found dead in the Negev after remains of cat food, suspected of containing poison, had been located nearby.
Three of the ibexes were found dead on the street of the southern a local council of Mitzpe Ramon on Saturday, and one more was found in critical condition and pronounced dead at a hospital for wildlife.
"Last night we received a report from Mitzpe Ramon residents about three dead ibexes, two males and one female, and another one that was in critical condition," Yedidia Shmuel, of the Nature and Parks Authority, said.
"Searches were conducted in the area by inspectors of the Nature and Parks Authority, and the local residents.
Nature and Parks Authority veterinarian Roni King said he believes the animals were poisoned.
"The ibexes were taken to the veterinary institute at Beit Dagan for autopsy to determine how they died," he said. "Among other things, signs of poison are being examined, as well as signs of deadly diseases. At this point we estimate that they were poisoned and we hope to be able to track those responsible down," he said, adding that there was a need to protect more wildlife from being exposed to any dangerous substances.