Thieves who shot and cut the legs off one of a cows had found an animal whose friendly and quiet nature made her an easy target, a Waikato dairy farmer says.
The dismembered Jersey cow was found 10 days ago at Trevor and Bev Bayly's farm at Arohena, south-east of Te Awamutu.
Mr Bayly said the thieves would have found the three-year-old beast too heavy to lift over the fence and must have decided to cut her legs off instead.
They had slit her throat but Mr Bayly said it was not clear whether she was already dead from a bullet wound.
"It's quite distressing to have her die like she did. She obviously enjoyed human company and that was her downfall.
"She was an easy target for whoever came to get her."