The discovery of what a bushwalker believed to be a dead body has police fuming after it turned out to be a cow stuffed inside a tracksuit.
Police in Western Australia's Pilbara were alerted to the remains on the side of a walking track last week and quickly established a crime scene, the ABC reported.
Yet after the deployment of considerable police resources, the discovery turned out to be what police believe was a sick prank.
"The remains were stuffed inside a tracksuit to make it look like it was human remains," Roebourne Police Senior Sergeant Dale Harmer told the public broadcaster.
"[It] has caused police to use an entire day and three police officers guarding a scene for something which was never a human in the first place."
A forensic pathologist in Perth identified that the remains belonged to a cow.
Senior Sergeant Harmer said while authorities were initially skeptical over whether the remains were human, they could not take any chances.
It meant a forensic team from the city of Karratha, 50km away, were brought in. Senior Sergeant Harmer lamented the wasted time of police during a time which he said authorities were already stretched.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.