LAS VEGAS (CBS Las Vegas) – Residents in the valley’s east side are disgusted by what they’ve been finding in the streets.

Piles of beheaded birds are being dumped in seemingly random locations throughout the area, reports KLAS-TV.

Helen Arciaga, a Charleston Boulevard thrift shop owner has found several dead birds in an alley behind her store. “Oh, where did this come from?” she asks. “Oh my good Lord it stinks.”

Street cleaner Ryan Roskins tells KLAS-TV he’s been seeing many of the birds as he makes his rounds.

“The first time I saw it, it was a large rooster,” he said. “Everything else is there, feet, feathers. It’s just decapitated.”

He has a theory for the increase in the gruesome finds. “I actually think it must be voodoo,” said Roskins.

A West African priest tells the station that may not be the case. He says people practicing the religion of Santeria or Ifa use animal sacrifices like chickens, pigeons or goats as a means of protection or as a way to cleanse the body.

“They might be wiping themselves with the bird, letting the blood and then having to discard the body,” Ifa priest Duane Reece said.

He says where the bird’s body is dumped depends on what the spirit or deity is calling out for. “Just like a first communion, just like a baptism, all of these ways are ways humans use to communicate.”

But for business owners like Arciaga, the rituals can’t stop soon enough. “I’m sorry for what we saw today.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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