Sheriff investigating after four animals killed in Wharton Co.

WHARTON, TX The owner of those animals hopes this publicity will scare off whoever has been killing her animals. She's so worried about some of them that she's given them away.

Vivian Bannert has raised all kinds of animals on her 12 acres in rural Wharton County. Her prized possession was a five-month-old llama named "Chipsie."

"She was so precious," Bannert recalled. "She was chocolate and had these great big eyes like this, and her eyelashes like two inches long -- beautiful!"

Two weeks ago, though, Chipsie turned up dead. Bannert says she'd been shot.

"It's the most hurtful thing in the world," she said. "I think I've grieved more for her than for any other animal I've lost."

She's lost four, she says, since February, including a pony, a goat and Chipsie's mother. Bannert showed us what she says was that llama's skull, pointing out what she claims is a bullet hole.

Bannert isn't sure how the others died. She feared that they were being poisoned, intentionally or otherwise, but found no proof of that. Investigators are looking for evidence that might lead them to a suspect or suspects.

"I just wish they stop it," Bannert said. "I guess I want them caught, because how else would they definitely stop."

Bannert wonders why someone would want to hurt animals so innocent.

If you have any information which can help investigators, you can call Wharton County Crime Stoppers at 979-543-TIPS (8477). You can remain anonymous.

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