Six cattle that died mysteriously in Texas had their tongues removed, authorities said, and the hide around one side of their mouths was also gone, with no visible blood.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office said on Wednesday that the cause of death for the six cattle is unknown, according to a report by NBC News.
The animals, each of which belonged to a separate pasture, were found alongside Texas State Highway in three different counties — Madison, Brazos, and Robertson — the sheriff’s office added.
Five of the cattle were adults; one was a yearling. Two of the cattle had their genitalia and anuses removed, with a circular cut that authorities said had been made with the “same precision as the cuts noted around the jaw lines of each cow.”
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office in Texas reportedly found out about five of the cattle deaths after local ranchers alerted authorities to a dead 6-year-old longhorn-cross cow.
All six bodies were found in undisturbed grass, with no clear signs of struggle and no footprints or tire tracks nearby.
“Ranchers also reported that no predators or birds would scavenge the remains of the cow, leaving it to decay untouched for several weeks,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Authorities added that similar findings have been reported across the country, and the sheriff’s office is now working with other law enforcement agencies to try to crack the case.
In 2019, authorities in Oregon discovered five dead bulls that had their genitalia and tongues removed as well, The Associated Press reported. It remains unclear if those deaths were ever solved.