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BERLIN, April 4 (Reuters) - Hanover 96 officials on Friday found a dead sheep hanging from a fence around their training pitch as the team prepares for the Lower Saxony derby against Eintracht Braunschweig on Sunday.
The dead sheep, painted green which is Hanover's club colour, was tied to and hanging from the fence with a sign next to it reading: "On Sunday your time is up, you filthy animals."
The incident does little to defuse tension, with police already on alert for crowd trouble ahead of one of the biggest regional rivalries.
"It was a despicable act of some individuals. It is unacceptable and perverse," Hanover sports director Dirk Dufner told reporters.
It was not clear who had hung the sheep there and the police were informed.
Prior to this season's first meeting between the sides in November, a pig wearing a Hanover scarf was released in the city centre. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Toby Davis)