‘It appeared to be an intentional act’; Reward offered after 6 cows locked in corral starve to death

Tule Springs area in Lincoln County, Nev., date not specified | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for causing the loss of at least half a dozen cows that were locked in a corral and starved to death in Lincoln County, Nevada.

The incident was reported in the Tule Springs area, which is a mountain range in eastern Lincoln County, Nevada, approximately 55 miles west of St. George near the Beaver Dam Conservation area.  The event occurred sometime during the first week of December, Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee told St. George News Wednesday.

Shortly after the holidays, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office was called in to investigate a report of six cows that were found dead from what appeared to be starvation, with a seventh cow severely ill and “barely hanging on,” Lee said.

The cattle were discovered locked in a corral that encompasses the spring where they drink from, in what authorities say appeared to be an intentional act based on the way the gate was not only closed, but also wired shut.

The rancher discovered the cattle shortly before Christmas, as soon as he was able to access the area after a series of strong storms and snow toward the end of November made travel impossible.

“It had been a little more than two weeks or so since the rancher was able to get out there,” Lee said. “Which is why the situation wasn’t discovered until later.”

Lee also said the seventh cow which had been locked in the corral that was barely alive is being cared for at the present moment, but added that the animal’s prognosis is grave.

The sheriff said it takes a lot for a rancher to go to the police for help, and for the most part, “they take care of each other and are pretty tough,” he said.

But this incident was particularly upsetting for the rancher. Not only did he experience significant financial loss, but even more disturbing was the cruel way in which the animals had to suffer before they died.

Based on the evidence, “it appeared to be an intentional act that was done with malice,” Lee said.

Making matters worse, the natural spring the cows drink from is located in the corralled area, which both left the cows locked inside without any food, and prevented the cattle grazing in the surrounding area from accessing the spring to drink from.

Ironically, it was the same storms that made the roads impassable and prevented the rancher from possibly saving the cows inside of the corral that spared the cattle grazing outside of the perimeter by providing the water needed to keep them hydrated, Lee said.

“Had this happened in the middle of summer, that rancher could have lost the entire herd,” Lee said.

Lee said detectives are actively investigating the case and are seeking the public’s help. Anyone with information on the incident, the identity of those responsible or camera footage of the trails in the area, is being asked to contact Sheriff Lee directly by calling the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office in Pioche, Nevada, at 775-962-5151.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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