Cattle Mutilation Investigation in Entre Rios, Argentina
From Scott Corrales
Latin America Correspondent
By Andrea Pérez Simondini, Visión OVNI
Place: Puerto Curtiembre, Cerritos (Entre Rios)
Cattleman: José Estrada
Date of Animal Deaths: 24 June 2011
Number of Dead Animals: 2
Animals Witnessed: Male and female, approximately 2 years old.
Research Team: Oscar Mendoza, Luis Brussa, Ariel Maderna
Given its proximity to the scene of the events, a team was organized on June 29th, formed by Luis Brussa, Oscar Mendoza and Ariel Maderna. We reported quickly to the scene, initially visiting the Sheriff’s Office at Cerrito. Having advised the police of our presence in the area, we were escorted by a unit to the location where the remains of 2 of the 5 animals could be found.
At the site we were welcomed by Sgt. Juan Ramon Muller of the Puerto Curtiembre barracks, accompanied by cattleman Jose Luis Estrada. We went to inspect the animal remains, which displayed advanced signs of decomposition due to the time that elapsed between the moment we learned of the story and our arrival at the site.
José Estrada told us that his animals stampeded on the night of the event. He had locked them in a pen, protected by tall poles and wiring, but something or someone had frightened a total of 100 animals, causing them break into a frantic run, bursting through the fencing and entering a narrow trail some 50 meters long that leads into an open field, fleeing in every direction and even crossing three rows of electrified fence. One of the animals fell 1000 meters from the pasture and the second 500 meters ahead, as it sought to find the exit gate.
So we began by taking photos of the animal remains from several angles while Oscar Mendoza and Luis Brussa made Geiger counter checks to dismiss the possibility of any radioactive traces whatsoever in the area surrounding the animals. This was done pursuant to the hypothesis that the agent of factor behind this mutilation is unknown to man, whether terrestrial or not, and because such alterations had already been reported in the United States.
The dead animals presented a series of incisions on their left sides, on the front of their heads, with the type of anal damage produced by carrion animals. Their eyes were also missing.
According to Jose Estrada, the owner of the field, when he found the animals they only presented incisions over the left front shoulder bone, as well as signs of tearing produced by an alleged animal attack. One of them had bites on its muzzle, while another – still alive – showed signs of similar bite marks on the same location.
This was further confirmed by an examination performed by a veterinarian from the town of Maria Grande, who reported to the scene a few hours after the finds. She had been contacted by the Cerrito police department, as a professional examination is requested after such discoveries are made. The veterinarian made the incisions we can see in the photographs, in an effort to see if any organs or viscera were missing. This veterinarian both specializes in, and has followed, the various animal deaths in Entre Rios, whether mutilated or not.
We were able to ascertain the deaths of two of the five animals reported in the area. The other three were found in a neighboring field, belonging to Mr. Franco Lorenzutti.
After being invited by the sergeant back to the Puerto Curtiembre barracks to examine the photos he’d taken the day after the event. While reviewing the images, we were startled by the visibility of the blood spilled in the area where the 5 dead bovines were found. This was presumably the work of some predator between the 18th and the 24th of June. None of these bovines, from what we could see, had been devoured.
This prompted us to contact veterinarian Gladys Uzman, who conducted the initial work at the site, to glean her first observations. “Out of all the examined animals, and after having made incisions to see if any organs were missing and subsequently thrown out, only torn tissue and muscle was found, as one would expect from a predator attack. Hence the presence of blood at the site. Another animal presented a strong bite on its muzzle, made by some not-very-small animal, which had broken and crushed the bones.
When asked if she had seen any bite marks on the necks of these animals, the veterinarian said yes, that she had found one such bite on one animal, leading us to suppose that these bovines (all of them calves) had been attacked by a wild feline from the area (the possibility of a puma is not dismissed).
The puma hypothesis was also mentioned by the veterinarian, as well as the possibility that wild or feral canines had been responsible for the deaths, as these had been seen at the scene of the events in Mr. Lorenzutti’s field, some 15 kilometers distant from Mr. Estrada’s property, according to the police sergeant. Whether the animals displayed bites on their legs has yet to be established. This is where dogs tend to inflict injuries to bring the bovine down and then kill it on the ground. One of the characteristics we have mentioned in the foregoing paragraph is the bite on the upper part of the muzzle, as shown in the photo. This can indeed be done by canines and not by felines, who only eat the flesh. These feral dogs do not belong to any species in particular, but its possible that some larger ones survived, and when they attack, they do so at night and in packs.
In recent years, the progress of cultivation, particularly soy, due to the extraordinary prices on the international market, led to a clearing of the wilderness to have greater cultivation surfaces. This caused many native wild animals (birds, foxes, felines, hares, guazunchos, etc.) and dogs often abandoned by their owners in the wilderness, to migrate from one field to the next in search of food and shelter.
By looking at these photos, there is no question that these 5 animal deaths were due to the attack of one or more predators migrating through the area.
The photos display the prints of the assailants. The prints suggest dogs, but there is one in particular that does not match these, and may perhaps be a feline looking for food, which occurs in the winter season when food is at its most scarce. The feline hypothesis would be ascribed to a puma or even a yaguareté.
The case is not closed, and we shall return in coming days to complement the visit to Mr. Lorenzutti’s field and determine and work on some points with the veterinarian with regard to the most affected areas on the bovines during the attacks, such as the necks and legs. The mystery remains, of course, as the five animals were attacked on the same side (left), 15 km distant from each other and with a week’s difference.
(Translation (c) 2011, S. Corrales. Special thanks to Andrea Pérez Simondini)