MISSOULA, Mont. | A strangely mutilated cow found dead southwest of Polson, Mont., has launched an investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies were notified of the killing Saturday, but from the level of decomposition, the adult cow was likely killed Wednesday, said Dan Yonkin, Lake County undersheriff.
What is being described as a “non-natural”death occurred in the Valley View area, which is an area that is home to many cattle ranches in Lake County.
Some of the meat from the animal had been cut off and some of the organs removed.
A local veterinarian responded to the ranch to perform a necropsy on the animal, and samples collected from the necropsy were sent to a Colorado lab for further investigation.
“It’s an odd thing, and we initially suspected animal predation,” Yonkin said. “We’ve ruled that out, and now it appears at this time it is human caused.”
The cow was among a herd when the unusual killing took place.
Yonkin said the Sheriff’s Department is methodically going through the details of the incident and will continue to investigate until the answers to the mystery are found.
“Our concern is we don’t want to see more of these,” Yonkin said. “I wouldn’t want ranchers to be concerned every night when they go to bed that when they wake up their cows will have been killed in their pasture.”
Anyone with information about the cow death is encouraged to contact Crimestoppers at (406) 883-7309.
Ranchers experiencing any similar situations should contact the sheriff’s office.