Cattle carcass.jpg

The crumpled carcass of a once-vibrant bull lays on Forest Service ground last summer in Harney County. It was killed along with several others in a strange way at Silvies Valley Ranch in Eastern Oregon.

FOSSIL — Two more cattle have been mysteriously killed in rural Eastern Oregon.

A black-coated cow was found dead in July outside of Fossi with her legs tucked under her body with her head off the ground. Pictures show her eyes bulging out with flies around the body. The cow’s tongue and genitals were removed.

“It was a clean cut, so it wasn’t wildlife,” Wheeler County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremiah Holmes said. “There were upwards of 80 cows milling around there … so signs of tire tracks, boot tracks were pretty much nonexistent.”

Holmes later followed up with the Northwest News Network to say there was no official cause of death determined yet, but a “partial bootprint” was found about 100 yards from the cow.

It follows another killing near Condon in March. A Hereford bull was found dead, lying on its side in a remote draw, its sex organs and tongue removed. The rancher who found his animal described cuts so precise no blood was on the bull’s white underbelly.

Holmes, working the case near Fossil, says his department is trying to assemble a statewide task force to address recent killings.

Last summer, five bulls were mysteriously slain in Harney County, outside of Burns. Although there are many theories ranging from payback, cults or aliens, there have been few leads on the case despite the offer of a $25,000 reward by Silvies Valley Ranch.

“We are in the works of reaching out to the neighboring counties so that when these happen there would be a group that would go to these consistently,” Holmes said. “Hopefully, the communication line will open up a little bit. So that we’re all aware of what’s happening in other counties.”

Holmes says he hopes ranchers and residents will be aware of vehicles parked in strange places. He says a license plate and a date and time could help officers a lot.

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