The mystery over hundreds of headless goats dumped in river "could be linked to deadly drug cartels".

Police in the American state of Georgia have been probing the bizarre mystery that appears to be connected with a voodoo-type cult.

The headless bodies of goats, apparently sacrificed as part of a religious ritual, have been turning up in the Chattahoochee River.

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Environmentalist Jason Ulseth says in recent weeks he has seen as many as thirty headless goat corpses floating in the river at a time.

Ulseth estimates he’s found around five hundred decapitated goats in the Chattahoochee in the four years since his first encounter with one.

“We just found a big pile of them dumped in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area last week, at a boat ramp,” Ulseth said, referring to a spot about forty miles upriver which paddlers and other recreationalists have long used to enter and exit the water.

“They were all covered in maggots when I got there.”

The bizarre occult sacrifices are even happening in broad daylight. One witness managed to capture a video of a dead goat being thrown into the river from a bridge.

Footage shows the goat’s body hitting the water with an enormous splash.

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The best theory so far is that the goats are being sacrificed by followers of Santeria, a voodoo-style cult that blends Roman Catholic reliefs with West African religion.

Local police currently have no open investigations regarding the bizarre sacrifices, but Ulseth remains concerned.

"These goats have to be coming from somewhere," he says. "But we haven’t been able to determine who’s buying the goats, who’s providing the goats, or actually how they are making their way here in the river."

One theory now points towards Mexican drug cartels being behind the sacrifices as they incorporate the "spiritual world" in their activities.

Robert Almonte, a retired deputy chief of the El Paso Police Department, who worked a number of narcotics investigations, has founded a consulting company that specializes in the activities of Mexican drug cartels, including how “they involve the spiritual world in their activities".

Almonte, a former U.S. Marshall for the Western District of Texas from 2010 to 2016, said: “I’m seeing more and more of the drug traffickers using Santería for protection over the last couple of years.

“But that’s a lot of goats.

"That would mean they’re moving a lot of drugs along that highway.”

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