CHIMAYO RANCHERS REPORT CATTLE MUTILATION

Copyright 1996 New Mexican, Inc.
The Santa Fe New Mexican
September 11, 1996, Wednesday

BYLINE: Ray Rivera with photo by Clyde Mueller

PENASCO An eerie trend that seems to resurface every few years since the

1960s apparently has popped up again.

A mutilated bull its genitals, tongue, intestines and heart cut out was discovered Monday in a high-mountain pasture here known as Llano de la Yegua. It was the third reported cattle mutilation in the last two months in Northern New Mexico. The last reported mutilations were in a cluster in 1993-94.

The Santa Fe New Mexican, September 11, 1996 "You talk about aliens and UFOs and don't think much of it, then you see a mutilated animal and it's ... weird," said Chimayo rancher Carlos Trujillo.

Trujillo and the bull's owner, Wilfred Romero, also of Chimayo, graze their

60 head of cattle together through the summer in the high pastures above

Penasco. They viewed the bull after Penasco resident Albert Ortiz discovered it Monday about 4 p.m. A Taos County Sheriff's deputy and a state livestock inspector also investigated the scene.

"We got up there around 7 p.m. and it was strange," Trujillo said. "There were no tracks, no blood, nothing."

Trujillo returned to the pasture Tuesday to dispose of the 2-year-old bull an 1,800-pound, pure-bred Santa Gertrudis Trujillo said was worth about $ 2,000. The bull's heart was removed through a hole, approximately 6 inches in diameter, cut in its chest. The anus, testicles, intestines and tongue also were removed with incisions. Half of the bull's left ear was removed. There was no blood on any of the wounds, the carcass, nor on the grass around the animal. And there were no tire tracks or unusual markings around the carcass.

The Santa Fe New Mexican, September 11, 1996 "Whatever did this has got more power than you or I can think of," Trujillo said. "An animal of this size and weight would have to be tranquilized."

Trujillo said the livestock inspector did not ask to perform an autopsy on the animal.

State livestock inspectors could not be reached Tuesday. The livestock board recorded about 30 mutilation incidents in 1993-94 in Northern New Mexico and Colorado. An Eagle Nest rancher alone reported 14 mutilations. The occurrences resembled a rash of mutilations in the 1960s and '70s in several states.

A 1980 investigation by a former FBI agent concluded that most of the mutilations in the '60s and '70s were caused by predators and scavengers.

There were no reports of mutilations in 1995 and the first half of 1996 until two mutilated cattle were discovered in Questa and Arroyo Hondo near Taos in July. These latest mutilations, along with the 1993-94 incidents, are still being investigated by the state livestock board. The board has concluded that the 1993-94 incidents were not caused by predators or scavengers.

The Santa Fe New Mexican, September 11, 1996 In a 1994 report to U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, the livestock board said the investigation into the mutilations revealed "possible involvement of clandestine Satanic groups." The livestock board also said at the time that the State Police, the state Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and the Albuquerque Police Department were assisting in the investigation.

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