Here's your disturbing news of the day: Some headless birds were found near Lake Merced, wrapped in red-and-black sheets and bundled in candles and plants in what appears to be some kind of animal sacrifice.
According to KTVU, workmen stumbled upon the decapitated birds in broad daylight yesterday morning near a frontage road that crews use to work on the gully and fences near the lake.
"Extremely unusual for this to be out here -- we're not even sure what it is," Sgt. Russell Gordon told KTVU.
But over at Animal Care & Control, officers know exactly what it is.
The sheets wrapped around the Chukar partridges were also marked with symbols, leading experts on this grisly topic to believe someone was holding an animal sacrifice ceremony.
"I would guess about 20 times a year, we find this kind of stuff," Officer Ellie Sadler of San Francisco's Animal Care and Control Department said. "We pick up discarded headless corpses a lot."
KTVU decided to engage an expert on religious practices who confirmed to reporters that these two birds were part of a "Palo" ceremony done to cement or break up a relationship. In case you're wondering, the relationship/breakup might not be going so well, since the "items" were left out in public view.
"It prevents the consummation of the ceremony," the expert told the news station.
Now for what you really want to know: While San Francisco's health code allows the "ritual slaughter" of some animals that can be eaten, this headless bird scene is a clear case of animal cruelty.
Penalties for animal sacrifice -- meaning the animal is killed but not used for food -- include up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. But the cases are often hard to close.
"We have almost no luck in figuring anything out with these cases," Sadler told KTVU. "There's never anything that has fingerprints on it -- it's usually just animals and vegetables."