A cattle rancher in Colorado is baffled after dozens of his cattle were slaughtered in less than a month. Adding to the mystery is the fact that no one seems to know who or what is responsible for the killings. The evasive predator has reportedly left no tracks.
The string of slayings first began in October when a bystander found 18 dead cows just outside of Meeker, Colorado. After the initial examination, just five of the animals looked as though they may have been killed by wolves. “Missing tails, bite marks on the hocks and flanks and hamstrings,’ said Travis Black, the regional director for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
However, officials later could not locate any wolf prints or evidence of a nearby predator.
Since October, at least 40 more cows have died as authorities do everything they can to find this evil-doer. As for possible theories, Jerry Klinglesmith, the rancher who has 40 fewer cows now, has an idea.
“The most likely scenario would be the following: An apparent canine attack may have triggered the onset of a still-inconclusive cause of death,” Klinglesmith told a local outlet.
Klinglesmith has since partnered with local veterinarians, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials, and other experts to continue to investigate the cow-killing conundrum. Now, a new theory has emerged, and it has nothing to do with any type of feral predator.
Colorado officials, rancher come up with new theory surrounding odd cattle killings
According to Klinglesmith and Black, a culprit could be Black Leg, a disease prompted by the Clostridium bacteria. However, recent pathology results neither confirmed nor denied whether that was the actual cause of death.
Although the new theory is possible, Black brings up an important point. During a Nov. 17 state Wildlife Commission meeting, he said several cows showed injuries consistent with a wolf attack as some were missing tails and showed bite marks with teeth from a canine.
Although these mammals can contract a variety of illnesses, it’s unknown whether Klinglesmith’s cattle had been suffering any preexisting health issues. Black believes if dogs or wolves were attacking the cattle, it would have aggravated any medical problems in the herd.
In the days since the killings, officials have searched for the wolves with aerial flights, howling surveys, and game cameras. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, they could not locate the wolf pack. At this time, there have been zero confirmed wolf sightings, leaving ranchers and officials wringing their hands as they look for an answer.
“We have zero evidence of wolves being in the area, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there,” Black revealed. “Right now, we don’t have a solid answer as to what happened.”
Black said that he and his team are perplexed by the killings. “It’s frustrating, trying to figure out exactly what occurred in this incident,” Black said.