Gardaí (Irish Police) in County Donegal are investigating an incident in which a farmer discovered a month-old calf with its tongue cut out.
Farmer John Kelly from Ballybrack near Greencastle said it was unlikely his calf injured himself.
"Both the vet, the Gardaí and ourselves looked around. There was nothing that could do this," he said.
"If it was trapped, it would be the tip of the tongue.
"This was beyond where the calf could lick. It was right in the mouth, the full of the tongue. The vet says that it's been sliced.
"We are still in shock about it. We cannot believe there are sick individuals or twisted people about. To walk into my yard up into my byre, through doors and gates."
Mr Kelly said he believes it may have taken more than one person to carry out the attack.
"When the vet was working with the calf, it had to be sedated.
'No longer feeds'
"I mean what kind of a person does this? It beggars belief that there are people in society that would maim and mutilate a defenceless animal."
The calf, a Simmental bull named Sam, can no longer feed off its mother.
"The calf is still living. We are persevering - trying to get him to drink out of a bucket and bottling milk into him. We are going to give him as much of a chance as we can."
Gardaí in Buncrana said they were investigating an allegation of cruelty to an animal.
Supt Eugene McGovern said it had been represented to them as a "sinister act."
He added that he had "never seen anything like it before in 35 years of service."