July 28, 2018: A +/- 6 month old black steer calf at the Cascade Hutterite Colony, about 2 miles from the one discovered on July 17. Herd size is 130 animals, none other affected. When first seen by Mark Wipf the 650 pound calf was discovered on a slope lying flat on its back, 4 legs sticking straight up to the sky, propped against a rock to prevent it from rolling over.
Mark, who has been around cattle his entire life, informs me that cattle never die in this position. Calf displays the stereotypical facial and anal tissue excisions that make these cases now immediately recognizable. No blood or urine samples, nor a liver biopsy, were obtained -“too ripe” when discovered within 48 hours of last being seen alive and well. Mark says the Cascade Colony has had 4 mutilations over the past several years resulting in financial losses he estimates at around $7000 USD, all uninsured losses. The colony members have no idea who is doing this, although they suspect it may be a religious cult focused on animal sacrifice. Curiously, Mark states the various Hutterite colonies do not share information about these kinds of events, and he is not aware if similar events are happening at other colonies existing in both the US and Canada. (This chronic problem of failure to communicate must be resolved if we are to get this sorted out.) Mark says a rancher named Orville Skogen, near Ft.Shaw, is the only other rancher in the area he knows of who has experienced mutilations on his ranch (or talked about it).
Mark informs me the routine vaccinations used at the Cascade colony include Vista 5 (BOVINE RHINOTRACHEITIS-VIRUS DIARRHEA-PARAINFLUENZA3-RESPIRATORY SYNCYTIAL VIRUS VACCINE- MODIFIED-LIVE VIRUS, LEPTOSPIRA CANICOLA-GRIPPOTYPHOSA-HARDJO-ICTEROHAEMORRHAGIAE-POMONA BACTERIN ), Safe-Guard dewormer, and MultiMin, a multivitamin preparation.
July 17, 2018: Angus cow, 7-8 years old, last seen alive and well at 10 AM on July 16, 2018 on the Cascade Hutterite Colony, was discovered dead and mutilated at 1PM on July 17, 2018 (see photos below). Regional temperatures in the high 80s to lower 90s °F. Case investigated by MT DOL inspector who took these photos and obtained a 50 cc blood sample from the cow’s heart (“blood was not coagulated and easily drew up into the syringe”) as well as a portion of hide from the dorsal / caudal area denuded of hair. Both of these samples were quickly frozen by the MT DOL inspector and retained for testing (anthrax culture, GC/MS, LC/MS, serum cyanide level, serum copper level). The animal was first discovered near Simms, MT, approximately 40 feet from the pavement of MT State Highway 200 that connects Missoula and Great Falls – a relatively busy highway by MT standards. No evidence of bullet wound, strangulation, or burns. No lightening strikes noted by Hutterite rancher(s) on July 16 or 17. No reports of strange lights in the sky or other UFO activity. Animal had been previously vaccinated against respiratory viruses and leptospirosis with Vista 5 multi-valent vaccine. No vaccinations for black leg or anthrax. No reports of any cases of anthrax in this region of Montana for at least 10 years.
Above: Severe swelling and sudden death of the cow prompted veterinarians I consulted with over the phone to suggest the possibility of anthrax. No reported incidents of anthrax in this part of MT in at least 10 years. This cow did spontaneously rupture in the presence of the MT DOL inspector, sending body fluids up to 20 yards from the carcass. Long-time MT DOL inspector said he had never seen an animal spontaneously explode like this due to bloat or any other illness.
Above: Stereotypical facial excision often seen in cattle mutilations. Wound margins appear sharp and precise, surgical in appearance, not the ragged edges seen with predators or scavengers. This excision was done under intelligent control, and with intention. MT DOL inspector did not see the serrated-edge appearance of wound margins sometimes noted in other cases.
Above: Circumferential peri-rectal excision of tissues. High intra-abdominal pressure causing extrusion of intra-abdominal contents.
Above: Dorsal hide from lower thoracic spine to base of tail appears scraped and denuded of hair. No report of burns. Several punctures seen from base of tail extending cephalad. Several of these punctures appear to be located over the vertebral spinous processes. MT DOL inspector stated this area of hide felt “crinkly” (subcutaneous emphysema?) hard and brittle, and “rolled up like a scroll” when he removed this area of hide.
Above: Close-up photo of puncture wounds, square and/or stellate in appearance. Margins appear as though they may have been cauterized.
Above: A piece of the desiccated area of hide denuded of hair with a puncture wound was excised by the MT DOL inspector. Puncture is square in shape and edges appear to have been cauterized.
Above: Area of dorsal hide denuded of hair “rolled up like a scroll” when excised by MT DOL inspector. To my eyes the subcutaneous tissue appears to show subcutaneous emphysema, but difficult to be sure.
Above: Facial excision’s hide / wound margin appears sharp and precise. Masseter muscle has been cleanly divided and is retracted up under hide.
Above: Dorsal vaginal wall is demonstrated to be absent.
Above: Another view of facial excision. Tongue has been cleanly divided, a typical finding in these cases.
Lab Reports: UC Davis CAHFS Case # D1810492. Our first completed investigation! Lab report revealed blood culture NEGATIVE for anthrax, NEGATIVE cyanide test, NEGATIVE GC/MS and LC/MS for drugs and/or poisons, and NORMAL serum copper level. Click the link below to view the final lab report.
CONCLUSION: These lab results suggest that neither drugs nor cyanide were utilized to subdue this fully grown angus cow in the field where she was discovered dead and mutilated as shown in the photos above. These results argue AGAINST human beings having done this.
October 26, 2017: Cow, age 2.5 years, discovered dead on either October 22 or 23. Cow was alive and well at 4 PM the day before it was discovered dead. Cow was buried yesterday October 25. Vet was not consulted. Location was on a Hutterite colony (Rockport) west of Pendroy in Teton County MT. Law enforcement (bear trapper Mike Hogan from Valier) was called. Cattle herd was gathered closely around her carcass. No evidence of blood on the surrounding ground, no bullet wounds, no claw marks. Udder, rectum, and vagina excised. Left lower lip with thin excision but otherwise left face plate intact. Metal detector did not signal any metal within cow’s body. Upon opening body cavity odor reported was tremendous. Stomach was discovered ruptured with stomach contents spilled into abdominal cavity. Sheriff Pete Howard had never seen this finding resulting from common bloat. The possibility was mentioned that this cow had been dropped from a height, resulting in the rupture of her stomach. Liver biopsy was obtained however liver is too malodorous to ship to laboratory for testing. Liver described as greyish and “punky” , i.e. not firm, difficult to slice. Did not slice like normal liver. This finding is surprising given that nights in this area have been cool with sometimes freezing temperatures. Apparently no blood samples were obtained. Photos will be posted when available. RKO
Richard O’Connor, M.D.
Phone: (406) 461-2823
Mail: PMB 2046, 1 Jackson Creek Road, Clancy, MT 59634