By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
The Crook County Sheriff’s Office is investigating multiple suspicious, unnatural deaths of cattle.
More cattle killings in remote parts of Crook County prompted the sheriff’s department to encourage ranchers to keep a close eye on their herds and ask anyone who sees anything out of the ordinary to report it.
“In the last week deputies responded to three or four cases out in eastern and southern portions of Crook County of cattle deaths we’ve investigated,” said James Savage, Crook County Undersheriff. “Because of that and it is related to our stock growers and their livelihood, we wanted to give them the heads up to be vigilant and check on their animals.”
Central Oregon Daily News has been tracking reports of suspicious cattle killings in the region and a few details are emerging:
The killings happen in remote areas, both cows and bulls are being killed, and, in many instances, their ears, tongues and genitals are removed with surgical precision.
“These cases have been going on since the mid ’70s. We’ve had a couple of adjoining counties, Harney and Wheeler, have both had these similar cases,” Savage said, adding they are working with other counties.
“We are working comparables; seeing what’s similar with their cases and our cases,” he said.
Michael Lloyd hears a lot of talk from local ranchers at the Prineville Wilco store.
“It’s pretty sad that somebody would come in and take somebody’s private stock, kill them and do whatever they do with them,” Lloyd said. “A lot of the customers are pretty fed up with this and I’m sure the ranchers are fit to be tied to find out who’s doing all this.”
The cattle killings are a mystery Undersheriff Savage wants to solve.
“It is very frustrating to me. One, this is a senseless thing to do to one of these animals. Two, it affects our stock growers. That fact we’ve never been able to solve it is discouraging.