Baton Rouge Animal Control Center is investigating the circumstances surrounding two dead pigs someone left on display Friday at Cortana Mall and the O’Neal Lane Wal-Mart.

Hilton Cole, director of East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control and Rescue Center, said a 120-pound female hog was propped in a sitting position on a bench outside the mall and a 75-pound piglet placed in the baby seat of a shopping cart at the front of the Wal-Mart parking lot. The Animal Control Center received a third complaint about another hog carcass, but Cole said he had no further information on the most recent report.

Officers found evidence of a gunshot on the female hog at the mall, but they could not determine how the piglet died.

“Whoever did it is disturbed,” Cole said. “I have never and nor have my officers seen any kind of situation like this with pigs; we do occasionally deal with cult activity but never with a pig.”

He said he doesn’t know what message those behind the displays meant to convey.

“That’s the scary part,” Cole said. “That’s the unknown factor. … Were they doing a cult activity that we are unaware of? Or is it some unknown reason, maybe a bet, maybe a childish prank.”

He speculated, on a darker note, that the message may be politically charged.

“Is this some kind of heavy subliminal message about pigs being law enforcement? We certainly worry about that. We don’t know if it goes that deep at this point, though.”

While Cole said feral hogs, like the two found, have been a nuisance recently, he doubts the culprit is a hunter.

“(Pigs) are doing serious property and agricultural damage,” he said. “There is a way of killing the hogs with some sort of dignity, though. Most hunters tend to display honor toward the animal and a sense of respect. This is not behavior any honorable hunter would display.”

Cole said the Animal Control Center has reached out to Crime Stoppers for assistance. He also is asking the community to be on the lookout for any social media postings bragging about the display.

Cole urges anyone who has information about these incidents to contact the Animal Control Center at (225) 774-7700 or call Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-STOP (7867).

“You just don’t do this,” he said.