Thursday, March 11, 2010

More Cows Killed In Veguita

By John Severance

VEGUITA – Gilbert Barela looked at the dead cow Friday, Mar. 5, and just shook his head.
After staring at it for a couple of minutes, Barela walked to his pickup truck, grabbed a lasso and put it around the cow’s front legs. Gilbert’s brother Earl grabbed the back legs and the two flipped the cow, which was owned by one of their grandsons. The two coughed and tried to breathe as the stench of the cow permeated the air.
A bullet hole was visible halfway down the cow’s neck which Gilbert Barela guessed came from a high-powered rifle. A trail of blood could be seen in the dirt.
Gilbert said the cow probably died Tuesday, Mar. 2 and had been discovered the next day by his brother Joseph.
Bite marks presumably by dogs could be found on the flank and the rear legs of the animal and also around the cow’s ears and nose.
Socorro County Sheriff Philip Montoya said Barela called Wednesday, Mar. 3, when the department was in firearms training.
“We asked the state police to respond and they went out there and they said they could not find Mr. (Gilbert) Barela,” Montoya said.
A Socorro County deputy went out to investigate on Friday, Montoya said.
The sheriff added that an investigator has been assigned to further check out the previous cases.
Socorro County is considered to be open range and cattle do not have to be fenced in.
On Wednesday, Mar. 10, Gilbert Barela called the Mountain Mail to say two more cows had been shot and killed in the past four days.
“It’s just gotten worse,” Barela said. “Everybody is doing it now.”
That makes six cows that have been fatally shot or killed by dogs in the past month, Barela said.
Gilbert Barela said full-grown cows are worth $700 or $800.

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