Recent livestock mutilations have Gunnison area ranchers shaken and on the alert for more strange attacks on cattle and horses.
In recent weeks, a horse was shot and had its head skinned at the LeValley Ranch property, which is part of the Esty Ranch holdings about eight miles east of Gunnison. The horse also had its tongue and anus removed.
Less than two months ago, a prize heifer in the same heavily traveled area just off of Colorado 50 and Colorado 114 had its tongues, lips and anus removed.
"To me it looks like a ritualistic issue. Either that, or they are high on drugs. There is just no logical explanation for it," said Esty Ranch owner Mike Clarke.
Two other incidents took place on other ranches in that vicinity in May and July.
The four mutilations have prompted the Gunnison County Stockgrowers Association to offer a $500 reward for any information that will lead to a conviction. The Colorado State Patrol has also been alerted to watch for strange activities in that area. The Gunnison County Sheriffs Office, the agency investigating the mutilations, did not return phone calls asking for comment.
Clarkes ranch foreman, Allen Roper, told the Gunnison Country Times that the mutilated animals appeared to be shot, but no bullets were found and that the mutilations were done with knives and were not a result of predators.
The recent mutilations have similarities to mutilations that occurred in the 1960s in neighboring Saguache County.
Clarke said if there is another incident he expects "the ranching community will really be up in arms."
"What concerns us is what they are going to do next?" Clarke said.
New Mexico Cop Says Military Responsible for Cattle Mutilations (Aug. 2011)
By Alejandro Rojas | HuffingtonPost.com
Gabe Valdez was a former New Mexico state patrol officer in the Dulce, New Mexico area. During his tenure, beginning in the 1970s, he was tasked with investigating mysterious cattle mutilations. The area suffered many cases of cattle found mutilated without blood, organs that appeared carefully removed and cuts in the skin that were so precise they were believed to be made by lasers. After years of research Valdez concluded that a clandestine government agency was responsible and that they used secret underground bases in the Dulce area for their experiments.
I have investigated a cattle mutilation case myself, just down the road from Dulce over the Colorado border, outside the town of Trinidad. Like many other cases, a cow was found with the udder missing, patches of skin removed, the anus cored out, genitals removed and part of the tongue missing. The animal was found at the bottom of a wash, and unlike a typical predator kill, there was no indication of a struggle or massive blood loss. The rancher had been raising cattle his whole life, and had seen many animal deaths, but could not explain why this animal had died. In fact, because he had a UFO sighting just days before, he suspected that the culprits could be extraterrestrial.
The first publicized case of a strange cattle mutilation was outside of Alamosa, Colorado in 1967, only 100 miles or so northeast of Dulce. An appaloosa horse was found with the head and neck skinned and defleshed. The bones where white and clean, and there was a lack of blood in the area. The lacerations were cauterized as if a laser scalpel were used according to a pathologist out of Denver. No satisfactory explanation has ever been found as to how or why this animal was killed.
Since then hundreds of cattle mutilations have been discovered. The ranch with the largest number of mysterious animals deaths belongs to the Gomez family, near Dulce, the area Valdez was assigned to. Unlike the rancher I spoke with, Valdez told me that he had never seen anything that had lead him to believe there were extraterrestrials in New Mexico. Instead he says he had found military gear such as gas masks and glow sticks around the carcasses of mutilated cattle.
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