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Animal sacrifice altar found in Philly

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Philadelphia police say they are investigating the discovery of an animal sacrifice altar, found in a house along with bones from dozens of animals.

Authorities said the altar, found Sunday in the city's Feltonville neighborhood, was made of 50 primate skulls and is believed used in animal sacrifice rituals by a Santeria cult, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday.

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The newspaper said pentagrams and the bones of a various animals were found at the scene, including the remains of sheep, goats, and chickens, while authorities also reportedly removed the bodies of what appeared to be two small monkeys.

The Inquirer said the house was searched on a warrant obtained by two Pennsylvania animal control officers after receiving a tip that two starving dogs were being kept at the house. The dogs were found alive, authorities said.

Police told newspaper they had not identified the owner of the house, but George Bengal, director of law enforcement for the Pennsylvania SPCA said, "This is a huge find," adding that Santeria cultists "usually take the skull and the feet and the blood and drain the blood from the animal. They'll drink the blood and use the skull and feet as part of the altar."

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