Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Cattle Mutilations

...have started ocurring again in Las Animas County, Colorado. This is apparently not the work of animal predators, as there are no tracks or footprints at the scene, there is no blood around the carcass, and the meat is removed with straight cuts as if with a knife. This has been in and out of the news there in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico with incidents reported back at least to the 1980s. This is the eighth such animal reported dead under these circumstances from the area this year and according to the article they are the first ocurrences since 2006.

I remember reading about these mutilations when we lived here in Colorado back in the 1980s, but really hadn't paid much attention to it since leaving the area. Maybe Chas or Steve can fill us in on what may have transpired since.

There are a number of UFO cultists in the area who are firmly convinced that the perpetrators are extra-terrestrial. Heck, there's a ballot initiative here in Denver that if approved this summer, would force the city to form a UFO investigation commission. If it passes, I suppose this would be something they could look into.

After looking at the map accompanying the story, it appears that some of the recent incidents have happened less than five miles from some property we own there near Weston. We'd been talking about building a cabin there, but now I wonder.


prairie mary said...

There are two thoughts I have about these "cattle mutilations." We normally think that a big critter with a chunk chewed out of it means a mammalian predator, but a raven is QUITE well equipped to make "knife-like" cuts and is motivated to do it. The other possibility is insects: little bites of meat can make a big hole.

Why would little green men from Mars or other places in outer space be evolved to eat mammal carcasses? The eating usually starts in the head (eyes and mouth) or under the tail, where the tissues are softer. A raven or even a crow is quite capable of peeling back tough hide once they find a place to gain access to an edge.

Prairie Mary

Steve Bodio said...

I agree with Mary that birds have a lot to do with some (most) of them.

Apparently our area had them too-- haven't heard of any in a long time.

I think Chas has some tales...

Chas S. Clifton said...

I have been contemplating a blog post on the topic, but it is mainly about media criticism and the imposition of "woo-woo" narratives.

Mary Scriver might have a point, as did the first letter-writer here.

Moro Rogers said...

"Why would little green men from Mars or other places in outer space be evolved to eat mammal carcasses?"

But...of course the Martians come here, you can't get beef anywhere else.^^
(Honestly, that's one thing that always bugged me about movie aliens. They are capable of interstellar travel but they have to come to earth to plunder our water and minerals and stuff. As if they couldn't find water in the vastness of the universe. Beef-plundering aliens makes more sense in a way.)

EcoRover said...

Maybe there's a reason it's called "Animas?" Seriously, unless you're on the scene soon after a kill, it's hard to know what happened.

NO, Prairie Mary, ravens CANNOT open the hide of large mammals such as elk or moose. They follow wolves and human hunters around, and depend on them to expose the flesh (or leave the gutpile).

Eagles and buzzards can zip open a big mammal, though.

prairie mary said...

A dead animal with an open mouth offers a point of entry for ravens and other lesser hungries. Eyes. Genitals. Soft.

We had a raven in town today: GROK! I look up just in time.

Prairie Mary

prairie mary said...

I should have said a word about magpies. If they find a wound on the back of livestock, they can pick a pound of meat out of while the poor animal is walking around alive. I had some old rotten cashews once that I dumped on top of a stump for chipmunks. Instead the magpies came and their beaks sounded like hatchets. They left cuts and dents in the wood.

Prairie Mary