Police suspect someone poisoned at least 10 stray cats that were found dead at a primary school in Wong Tai Sin over the past four days.
Six were found in Bishop Ford Memorial School on Pui Man Street shortly after 7am yesterday.
Police said another cat was found dead in the school on Sunday, and three other carcasses were found outside the school on Monday and Tuesday.
Another stray cat was running around the school yesterday but was caught by conservation officers.
The school's discipline master, Winnie Leung, said the area was cleaned and disinfected before pupils arrived. She said the school did not keep pets.
The six stray cats had no obvious signs of injury, a police officer said.
'We found an empty can of cat food outside the school. It has been taken to a government laboratory for examination to see whether it contained traces of poison,' he said. 'It is possible the food was mixed with poison, and the stray cats ate it and ran into the school where they died.'
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it was abnormal for so many stray cats to be found dead at one location.
'Because no external wounds were found on the cats and an empty can of cat food was found at the scene, it is natural to link the deaths to poisoning,' a spokeswoman said.
She said there were a lot of stray cats in the area, but the group had not received any reports of animal abuse in the district recently.
No report was made to the police in connection with the previous cases. The deaths were classified as cruelty to animals, and detectives from Wong Tai Sin are investigating. No one has been arrested.
Leung said letters were issued to pupils and their parents reminding them not to have any contact with stray cats in the area.