The Croydon Cat Killer showed no signs of ending his bloodthirsty rampage in 2017 in what was his most vicious year of killings.

On Christmas day, two cats were slain, in Carshalton and Wallington, which has prompted a police investigation in a saga of crimes reported “almost daily”.

This year saw the presumed serial killer expand his reach beyond cats, with the head of a deer discovered beside a child’s trampoline in Warlingham this October.

In “crimes designed to horrify,” the animal ripper is said to have killed well over 400 animals in two years and there were three cases on a single day in September.

Other shocking finds include beheaded swans, rabbits and two weeks ago a headless fox was found in Caterham, according to South Norwood Animal Rights Liberty (SNARLl).

The characteristic of these brutal attacks are what SNARL co-founder Tony Jenkins dubbed “signature injuries,” the likes of which resulted in a police investigation codenamed Operation Takahe and fears of a step towards human targets.

Detective Sergeant Andy Collin said: “The concern is they will cease getting that and escalate the attacks to humans, specifically vulnerable women and girls.”

SNARL is an animal welfare association that is the driving force behind the mounting cases, which represent a long animal death list, with daily updates and tributes to victims on Facebook.

The connected animal deaths date back to 2015 when Mr Jenkins and his partner Boudicca noted similarities among cat deaths across social media and this year, an impressive £10,000 reward was declared for information leading to the capture of the killer.

Mr Jenkins said: “Animals are just the vehicle by which the killer gets at humans.

“The display of the bodies is his form of boasting.

“Sometimes he removes a head and tail and sometimes he cuts them in half.

“The suspect was formerly known as the Croydon Cat Killer, but is now referred to as the UK Animal Killer, there are identical injuries across the country.”

The unknown killer has been given many nicknames by the media, such as the Croydon Cat Killer, UK Cat Killer and most recently the UK Animal Killer.

Sickening mutilations have been identified across London – including Croydon, Twickenham, Penge, Dartford, Welling and Beckenham - Sheffield, Surrey, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham and even the Isle of Wight.

Mr Jenkins has urged all pet owners to remain vigilant, remarking that in 2017 the killer is taking bigger risks.

He said: We are seeing exactly the same injuries.

“Eventually he’ll make a mistake.

“We can’t let it go, as long as he keeps killing we’ll keep going.”

An e-fit of the suspect, based on witness reports from Kent and Surrey show the suspect as a white man, 5’9” tall in his forties.

The suspect has short brown hair, dressed in dark clothing, with a backpack and headlight and according to police the suspect originated from Addiscombe.

A timeline of atrocities

These are just some of the killings documented across south London in 2017