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A pygmy goat on a stump.
Ten weeks ago, I wrote a column on a goat mutilation that occurred in rural Montgomery County Kansas on April 3. When I referred back to that column in my files, I also caught a moment of cerebral flatulence I had when writing and proofreading it: I had inadvertently typed in July rather than April.

On June 27, I received a telephone call from the man whose goat had been the victim. It seems that a second mutilation has taken place in the adjoining county to the south across the state line, in rural Nowata County, Oklahoma.

He had already called the gentleman whose yearling heifer had been the victim, explained his own experience with his goat being mutilated, and after receiving directions drove down to talk to him.

It seems that I have an excellent new contact in that area.The grisly discovery was made early on the morning of June 18, when the owner of the 120-acre family farm for three generations, made his regular check of his mixed-breed herd of cattle and saw the heifer down and not moving.

Upon closer inspection, he found the animal was not only dead, but had been the victim of a classic mutilation. He had heard of other such incidents in the area in years past and was familiar with at least the basic scenario.

His heifer, which had appeared to be perfectly healthy the day before, was lying on its right side with its head facing northeast. There was no sign of a struggle or any obvious cause of death such as a bullet hole. The missing parts of the animal had all been removed with clean, almost surgical incisions and there was no trace of blood to be found on or around the carcass.

One element reported in many other such incidents was absent, however; the other cattle in the pasture were basically ignoring the dead heifer, displaying no signs of nervousness around it or having any interest in it whatsoever.

The parts that were missing also fell within the normal perimeters for a mutilation incident, if the word "normal" can even be applied to such a bizarre phenomenon. The udder had been removed with a clean surgical incision that also severed the milk bag itself from the internal body parts it had been connected to. The left eyeball was missing and the socket it had been removed from looked like it had been wiped clean and dry of any fluids. The left ear had also been cut off at the scalp with the same degree of skill.

He also noticed the complete lack of flies on or around the carcass, although there were plenty of them around the other cattle. He looked around for any marks such as tire tracks or anything else out of the ordinary and found nothing. He even drove his pickup completely around the pasture looking for any cuts or breaks in the fence and found none. He checked with his nearest neighbors by phone when he got back to the house, and none of them had noticed any unusual traffic on the road recently or anything else out of the ordinary.

Mutilations tend to fall into two groups: They are either a completely isolated incidents, or they occur in significant clusters in the same general area within a limited time frame. At this point I am not aware of any other such incidents taking place recently in that part of the country, but that certainly does not mean that none have occurred.

Farmers and ranchers who come upon these grisly scenes often either just dispose of the body and inform no one, except perhaps calling their county Sheriff's Department. I have checked with law enforcement in both Montgomery County Kansas and Nowata County Oklahoma, as well as the news media and drew a complete blank in both cases.

Whether any more such incidents have in fact occurred remains unknown at this point. If any additional reports or new information concerning those already discussed becomes available I will report on it in future columns.