Residents of a town in north-central Mexico were shocked to see a stray dog running down the street with a decapitated human head in its mouth.
Officials in the violence-plagued state of Zacatecas confirmed the incident and said Thursday that police eventually managed to wrest the human head away from the dog.
'The Next Head is Yours'
A law enforcement official who was not authorized to be quoted by name said the head and other body parts had been left in an ATM booth in the town of Monte Escobedo late Wednesday.
The human remains were left with a message referring to a drug cartel that read "the next head is yours". But before police could act, a stray dog made off with the corpse's head.
A video posted on social media showed the dog trotting down a dimly-lit street, with the head locked in its jaws. The following video is extremely graphic in nature. Viewer discretion is advised.
The victim has not yet been identified and the rest of the body has not been found.
Cartel Violence in Zacatecas
Zacatecas has been the scene of a bloody, extended turf war between local gangs backed by the Sinaloa and Jalisco drug cartels.
The Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG), one of the world's most feared cartels, is believed to be behind the severed head. The cartel is led by El Mencho - Mexico's most wanted person. He is also wanted by US authorities and they have set a reward of 10 million dollars for information that leads to his arrest.
Drug cartels in Mexico frequently leave notes alongside heaps of dismembered human remains, as a way to intimidate rivals or authorities.
In June, the bodies of seven men were found in a popular tourist region with warning messages written on their corpses referencing the Gulf Cartel, which operates mainly along the U.S. border to the north.
In April, six severed heads were reportedly discovered on a car roof in Mexico with a sign warning others: "This will happen to anyone who messes around."