Bulls Killed, Mutilated On Oregon Ranch

One of the five mutilated bulls discovered July 31 in Malheur National Forest about 20 miles north of Burns, Ore. ( The Capital Press )

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.


Submitted by oldcowvet on Wed, 08/07/2019 - 07:34

I'm a little skeptical about the mutilation: scavengers go after the softest tissue & cut & tear it. each tissue mentioned is easily grabbed by vultures & other varmints. I've seen this same thing so often. I'm not saying it couldn't be human caused, but I'm betting on natural causes

Submitted by Bob Jones on Wed, 08/07/2019 - 12:18

Sad times we live in when people do this to cattle.

Submitted by Tim on Wed, 08/07/2019 - 19:30

Same thing happened around Dulce New Mexico back in the late seventies. Mutilated, drained of blood,sex organs removed, tongue removed,and never proved what happened. Also horses done in same manner. No tracks, not even in soft ground.

Submitted by Laura Tapscott on Thu, 08/08/2019 - 12:52

I've been reading about this phenomenon for years. No one is every held responsible. I know these properties are vast and the cattle have free range. I believe one good way to keep track of one's cattle is by drone(s) and a computer system to handle the input. All you cattlemen .... please keep this in mind as an early warning system and a proactive approach.

Submitted by Bunchgrass Farm on Thu, 08/08/2019 - 13:17

This is like the crop circles. We want to believe something bizarre occurred when in all likelihood it was something these bulls got into. Funny how we can come up with at least a possible/likely cause of death in humans over 24 hrs old. Sure, we can't get a good idea on disease related stuff - bacteria, viruses etc but come on. I think it's more like "why do it?" Would insurance cover their losses? Speaking of insurance ....... what was the owner's financial situation?