Bizarre Cattle Mutilations Plague Arizona Ranch

Patricia Ramirez

Since the 1970s, the Flying M Ranch near Flagstaff, Arizona, has been the scene of countless bizarre cattle mutilations. Headed by Kit Metzger, the roughly 90,000-acre ranch has lost four to five head of cattle almost every year for over 30 years, most of which are found dead, exsanguinated, and missing body parts, removed from their corpses with surgical precision. Over the decades, many theories for the bizarre cattle mutilations have been discussed, but no one explanation has ever been agreed upon. From satanic rituals to extraterrestrials and everything in between, Metzger is getting desperate to put an end to the bizarre and costly mutilations.

As the Arizona Daily Sun reports, she hopes that by sharing her story, she may finally help to figure out a reason and the perpetrator(s) behind the bizarre cattle mutilations plaguing her ranch.

Metzger has an iPhone full of disturbing photographs of dead cattle, their eyes surgically removed, their lips and/or ears sliced off, and circular chunks of flesh cut away so that internal organs could be removed. According to Metzger, the cuts are always clean, with the surgical precision of a scalpel.

She says that her personal research has led her to believe that whoever is killing and mutilating the cattle seems to use some kind of sedative or muscle-relaxing drug, perhaps even a painkiller, injected into the animals to make them limp and docile. Then, she believes that the killers insert a tube into one of the arteries and wait until all of the blood is pumped out of the cow's bodies. She's come to this conclusion because there is rarely any blood found on or near the carcasses following the bizarre cattle mutilations. For this reason, she thinks that whoever is doing the mutilating is also draining and collecting the blood from the cattle.

"It's just really strange."

Because the bizarre cattle mutilations at the Flying M have been going on for decades, it's no surprise that Metzger and the rest of the staff has taken steps to try to catch the perpetrators. The Flying M has deployed night watch staff to keep an eye on the cattle at night and even set up cameras near entrances to pasture and watering areas, but to no avail. The only evidence the ranch has been able to retrieve have been images of headlights and tire tracks that ultimately end up being untraceable. The ranch has also called in several government agencies, from the Forest Service to the county sheriff to the Arizona Department of Fish and Game. All agencies are supposed to be keeping watch for suspicious activities, but so far have come up empty-handed in their investigations.

The financial costs of the bizarre cattle mutilations are taking a toll on the ranch. According to management, the cost of the four or five head of cattle killed annually is about $16,000. If any of the mutilated cows happen to be pregnant when they're killed, that cost goes up by thousands of dollars. Not to mention the health toll it takes on calves who lose their mothers.

The Flying M's closest neighbor, the Bart T Bar Ranch, reports that they haven't dealt with any bizarre cattle mutilations on their property. According to owner Judy Prosser, there could be a very simple explanation for this. Simply put, her ranch is more difficult to access.

However, while a neighboring ranch seems to have been spared a part in the bizarre mutilations, the local elk population hasn't been so lucky. Just last August, the Arizona Fish and Game Department found three dead elk close to the Flying M. According to a supervisor with the department, the animal's lips and sexual organs had been removed. It also appeared to officials that the elk had been driven some distance and dumped in the location where authorities found their corpses.

"It was something we hadn't seen in a really long time."

Because Easter is coming at the end of this month, the Flying M Ranch is going to be "on the lookout" for more bizarre cattle mutilations, and fingers are crossed that the perpetrators are discovered this time around.

[Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]