Six cattle were mysteriously found dead with their tongues “completely removed” and no sign of blood spilled — mystifying Texas authorities this week.
Ranchers in Madison County found a 6-year-old longhorn-cross cow lying on her side, deceased and mutilated, along a state highway in east-central Texas, the Madison County Sheriff’s office said on Wednesday.
The animal’s tongue had been “completely removed from the body with no blood spill” after a “straight, clean cut, with apparent precision” had been made to remove the hide around the cow’s mouth on one side, according to the sheriff’s office.
The cow did not seem to struggle during the incident, as the grass around the animal was undisturbed, officials said.
No footprints or tire tracks were found in the area.
Ranchers also said there were no predators or birds trying to scavenge the remains of the cow, which decayed untouched for several weeks.
While investigating the longhorn-cross’ perplexing death, authorities discovered there had been five other similar occurrences along the same state highway, located in Brazos County and Robertson County.
Four adult cows and one yearling were reported dead by similar occurrences, lying on one side with the exposed side of their face cut along the jaw line.
All five also had their tongues “completely removed,” the sheriff’s office said.
On two of the five cows, authorities discovered that “a circular cut was made removing the anus and the external genitalia.” The cut had been made with “the same precision” as the cuts along the cow’s jaws.
In the later discoveries, there were also no signs of disturbances in the grass, no blood spilled and no noticeable tracks in the area. No predators or birds were seen scavenging the remains for several weeks after death.
The cause of death of all six cows remains unknown.
Officials in Madison County are working with other agencies to try and solve the puzzle.
Similar incidents have been reported across the country, including in Colorado, where dozens of cattle were slaughtered this fall by an elusive predator that left behind no tracks.
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In October, 18 dead cows were found just outside the town of Meeker. Some looked as though they were killed by wolves, but officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife found no wolf tracks or evidence of the predator in the area.
By November, at least 40 calves were reported dead.
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