Ranchers and officials in Oregon are baffled over the mysterious deaths of several cattle in recent months, after a number of carcasses have been found drained of blood with body parts removed with what appears to be precision cuts.
What are the details?
Reporter Anna King of the Northwest News Network reported on the eerie trend a few weeks ago, after the 140,000-acre Silvies Valley Ranch lost five young purebred Hereford bulls under creepy circumstances over the summer. "These animals were found bloodless, with their tongues and genitals removed," King reported.
But the Silvies Valley Ranch isn't the only operation experiencing the phenomenon. Two years ago, a couple who lives 200 miles away in Princeton lost a cow in similar fashion. The animal was discovered dead, with precision cuts on the carcass, her body devoid of blood.
The Associated Press also investigated, confirming King's reporting and reiterating there was no indication the animals "had been shot, attacked by predators or had eaten poisonous plants."
While officials suspect someone killed the Silvie bulls and are advising ranchers to travel in pairs, residents are volunteering their own theories over who — or what — could be responsible for the carnage.
The Harney County Sheriff's Office is keeping a list of possibilities offered up from callers (both serious and jokesters alike), who have suggested anything from aliens, devil worshippers, lightening, poisonous darts, or even the North Vietnamese Army could have a hand in the string of bovicides.
The unsettling slaughters are reminiscent of "mutilations of livestock across the West and Midwest in the 1970s that struck fear in rural areas," the AP noted, explaining that "thousands of cattle and other livestock were found dead with the reproductive organs, and sometimes part of their faces, removed, in territory ranging from Minnesota to New Mexico."
Newsweek reported that "from the Western United States to Southern Arizona and from the Deep South to farms in France, cattle have mysteriously died through mutilations, maulings and mystery."
The outlet pointed to a report from earlier this year, where French cattlemen attributed a string of mysterious deaths in their herds to exposure from electricity generated by wind turbines and solar panels.
In the meantime, the investigation in Oregon continues.