Residents of a town in north-central Mexico were stunned to see a dog running down the street with a human head in its mouth.

Officials in the violence-plagued state of Zacatecas confirmed the incident and said Thursday that police managed to decapitate the dog.

A law enforcement official, who was not authorized to be named, said the head and other body parts were left in an ATM booth in the town of Monte Escobedo late Wednesday.

A message about a drug cartel was left on the human remains. But before the police could act, the stray dog ‚Äč‚Äčescaped with the corpse’s head.

In a video posted on social media, the dog can be seen trotting down a darkened street with its head by its neck in its jaws, apparently intending to carry it to safety to be eaten.

Zacatecas has become the scene of a bloody, long-running war between local gangs supported by the Sinaloa and Jalisco drug cartels.

Drug cartels in Mexico often leave notes next to piles of dismembered human remains to intimidate rivals or authorities.

In June, the bodies of seven men were found in the popular tourist region of warning messages written on their corpses referring to the Gulf Cartel, which operates mainly along the US border to the north.

In April, six severed heads were reportedly found on the roof of a car in Mexico a sign that warns others: “It will happen to anyone who messes around.”

A National Guard officer stands guard where a man was killed in his truck in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico on March 15, 2022.

PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images