PRESCOTT, AZ – January 21, 1997 – Unexplained Cattle mutilations near Prescott and Tucson.
Local ranchers in the San Rafael Valley reported the bizarre mutilation of eighty cattle and twenty horses to local law enforcement. The unexplained deaths are among hundreds of reports this year.
James Knell, Associate director of the animal services division of the Arizona Department of Agriculture said, “Some of the indications are removal of organs from cattle and draining of blood from the body.”
Forty of the carcasses were found in the San Rafael Valley south of Sonita in Santa Cruz County. Over a dozen were found north of Sonoita in Pima County and the remainder were found west and southwest of Sierra Vista.
The University of Arizona agriculture department reports an 100,000 livestock decrease in 1997, however this may be attributed to lower rainfall totals and drought conditions over the past 8 months.
The animals did not show signs of being eaten, but organs were removed and predators may be suspected.
August 16, 1998 – U.S. Department of Agriculture launches investigation into a series of unexplained horse deaths near Ash Fork, AZ located west of Flagstaff on Interstate 40.