Dark days for bovines

 

WASHINGTON: "It's all downhill from here, sweetie." Courtesy Alexis Alloway.

COLORADO

These are dark days for bovines. In northeastern Colorado, 50 cows keeled over this summer, most likely from anthrax, which thrives during drought. That sad news came on the heels of a grisly spate of livestock mutilations in the western part of the state. A horse near Gunnison was shot and its head skinned and its anus removed, according to the Denver Post. A nearby cow suffered a similar fate, the fourth such incident in the area this year. 'It looks like a ritualistic issue,' rancher Mike Clarke told the Post. 'Either that, or they are high on drugs (the mutilators, not the cows). There is just no logical explanation.' Southern Colorado's been plagued, on and off, by mysterious livestock dissections ever since 'Snippy' the horse was eviscerated in the San Luis Valley in 1967, and speculation, logical and illogical, is rife about who or what is doing the slicing and dicing. Suspects include the aforementioned satanic junkies, space aliens (naturally), agents from a secret military installation near Dulce, N.M., doing genetic tests, and faddish chefs trying to satisfy a new culinary hankering for sauteéd l'anus de la vache. (We just made that last one up, but these days, who knows?)

NEW MEXICO

One way to find out who's responsible for animal killings is to stake out local pastures. That tactic, reports the Albuquerque Journal, sort of worked for the prairie dog advocate/vigilantes trying to bust whoever shot a dozen or more of the rodents at a particular intersection in Santa Fe. Prairie dog vigilante Steve Dobbie was keeping watch when he caught Steve Wienke -- a guest scientist at Los Alamos who works on algorithms -- taking a pop at the p-dogs with a pellet gun. Wienke told police that he had never shot at these particular rodents before; he just happened to notice them as he was getting cash at the ATM and figured they were good targets. Dobbie told the Journal that he would continue to watch over the p-dog colony until the animals go into hibernation.

This edition of Heard around the West was guest-edited by Jonathan Thompson.

Tips and photos of Western oddities are appreciated and often shared in this column. Write [email protected]

High Country News Classifieds
  • DEAN, W. A. FRANKE COLLEGE OF FORESTRY AND CONSERVATION, UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA
    Dean, W. A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, apply http://bit.ly/2548umjobs. AA/EEO/ADA/Veterans Preference Employer
  • GRAPHIC DESIGNER
    Western Resource Advocates (WRA) seeks a creative and driven graphic design professional to design high quality print and digital collateral. The Graphic Designer will bring...
  • STEWARDSHIP SPECIALIST
    San Isabel Land Protection Trust seeks experienced person to manage its 133 conservation easements in south-central Colorado.
  • CAMPAIGN REPRESENTATIV
    Sierra Club's Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign is hiring an experienced campaigner to lead our work challenging the oil and fracked gas industry on the Gulf...
  • AG LANDS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Oregon Agricultural Trust (OAT) seeks passionate relationship builder experienced in coordinating agricultural conservation easement transactions.
  • REMOTE SITKA ALASKA FLOAT HOUSE VACATION RENTAL
    Vacation rental located in calm protected waters 8 miles from Sitka, AK via boat with opportunities to fish and view wildlife. Skiff rental also available.
  • FINANCE DIRECTOR
    Mountain Studies Inst (MSI) is hiring 4+ positions: Finance Director; Coms/Engagmnt Mngr; Dev/Engagmnt Dir; Americorps vol
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND ENGAGEMENT MANAGER
    Mountain Studies Inst (MSI) is hiring 4+ positions: Finance Director; Dev/Engagement Dir; Coms/Engagement Mngr; & Americorps volunteer
  • SEASONAL TRAIL CREW LEADERS
    Lead the nation's premier volunteer-based trail crew programs on the spectacular Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. This is a great career-building opportunity for rising professionals....
  • ORGANIZING AND TRAINING COORDINATOR
    Is this your dream job? Are you looking to join a nationally recognized organizing network, live in a spectacular part of the West, and work...
  • DEVELOPMENT AND ADVOCACY DIRECTOR
    Provide stewardship and protection for the Great Burn wildlands along the Montana-Idaho stateline. This position is based in Missoula, MT, where a river runs through...
  • DEVELOMENT DIRECTOR
    Great Old Broads for Wilderness is seeking a qualified Development Director to manage the fundraising success of our growing organization, including the team-driven implementation of...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Central Oregon LandWatch is seeking an Executive Director to advance our mission and oversee the development of the organization. Job Description: The Executive Director oversees...
  • LISA MACKEY PHOTOGRAPHY
    Fine Art Gicle Printing. Photo papers, fine art papers, canvas. Widths up to 44". Art printing by an artist.
  • SAN JUAN BASIN ENERGY CAMPAIGN ORGANIZER
    San Juan Citizens Alliance is seeking a full-time San Juan Energy Campaign Organizer located in Farmington, New Mexico. The San Juan Energy Campaign Organizer focuses...
  • WILDLIFE PROGRAM MANAGER
    San Juan Citizens Alliance (SJCA) is looking for a passionate, experienced, and motivated Wildlife Program Manager to lead campaigns to protect and enhance wildlife and...
  • GRANT WRITER
    "This thriving citizens organization exemplifies the ideal of public involvement in public processes."- Billings Gazette Help protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, &...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER AND MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR
    Western Colorado Alliance is hiring for 4 positions, 2 Full Time Community Organizers, 1 Part Time Community Organizer and a Part Time Membership Coordinator. For...
  • BUSINESS OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
    Thorne Nature Experience is looking for a Business Operations Director who will work in partnership with the Executive Director and Thorne's Directors and Managers to...
  • WILDERNESS CONSERVATION CORPS - OREGON
    The Siskiyou Mountain Club is hiring interns for the 2020 Field Season. Interns utilize non-mechanized tools to complete trail restoration and maintenance while gaining job...