Oregon authorities are investigating the deaths and mutilation of five bulls on the Silvies Valley Ranch. The bull carcasses were discovered July 30 and 31 on the ranch in Harney County with no obvious cause of death.
Colby Marshall, vice president of Silvies Valley Ranch, told The Capital Press, there were no outward signs of a struggle — no rope burns on trees, no scattered hoof prints, no strangulation marks. The bulls, he said, look like they simply fell over and died.
Even stranger than the deaths, Harney County Sheriff Deputy Dan Jenkins said, are the mutilations. Only a few pieces of the body were removed on each animal — the anus, scrotum, testicles and tongues. One bull was also missing its penis and the tip of one ear.
The Harney County Sheriff’s Office, the Oregon State Police and the Malheur National Forest Emigrant Creek Ranger District are investigating.
Deputy Jenkins said a necropsy to determine the cause of death was not possible because when found the bulls were already past the 24-hour window when a veterinary inspection would have been effective.
Jenkins told The Capital press the missing body parts don’t appear to have been chewed, but the wounds appeared clean-cut.
“The parts were definitely cut out with a sharp blade,” he said. “There weren’t any signs of predatory eating or chewing. They were cut out by at least one person.”
The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association has offered a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible. A separate $25,000 reward is also being offered by an interested party.
Those with information about the case should call the Harney County Dispatch Center at 541-573-6156.