In the mid 1980's, a local rancher discovered a member of his herd, a red Angus, laying motionless in one of the pastures. Instinctively he knew she was dead, and from where he stood, it appeared as though the cow had been decapitated. Upon closer examination, the cow's head had been shoved clean inside her chest cavity - as if it had been done with one powerful swipe. In all his ranching years, he had never seen anything like it, and he has dealt with predator kills before. Of course, the only predator he could think of at the time, who would be powerful enough, was the grizzly. It was the only answer he could come up with. Yet, in all his ranching years, this is the only time he had ever come across such a sight.
The ranch consists of thousands of acres. The main homestead is near the base of a mountain, and is in prime predator country, such as grizzlies, black bears, cougars, and wolves indicating plenty of prey species in the area. There are bluffs, some cliffs, odd caves and other crevices, and some waterfalls along the mountain, and the Bulkley River not too far away. The ranch covers some mountain side, hilly and flat hay fields and pasture land, wetlands, and some creeks. There are stands of various deciduous and coniferous trees, including rainforest. It is also located in an area known for Bigfoot sightings.
The ranch had not been in use for many years, before he and his family purchased it and moved on. Prior to this location, the family had lived on the other side of the valley. The rancher has not reported another such finding since. At no time did the rancher make any reference to Bigfoot. At the same time, there was an uneasiness in the rancher's voice and expression as he told me. It must have been quite spooky to see.
It is possible that this particular kill could have been done by a Bigfoot. A creature who would be in all likelihood, territorial. The area had been left alone for so long before the rancher and his family had moved on. Now suddenly cows were in the area. This took place roughly a mile from the ranch house. Hidden from view by sporadic stands of trees. The kill site was close to the very base of the mountain itself.
There are many reports coming from the Himalayas where Yeti's have been known to savagely attack and kill yaks with a devastating blow. Taking this into consideration, it is not entirely outside the realm of possibilities that this particular fatal attack on the red Angus could have been done by a Bigfoot. Ranchers deal with the loss of livestock from predator attacks all the time. Wolves have been pegged as the most predominant (as well as packs of domestic dogs) but also bears have been known to attack and kill livestock for food. Cougars have done the same. Usually ranchers know exactly who they are dealing with.
The red Angus was killed by a single blow. Forcing her head to be shoved clean inside her chest cavity. No part of her was eaten. If a grizzly had killed the cow, there would have been a bloodied mess. It would have eaten some choice soft parts on the spot, but then it would have drug the carcass away from the pasture, so it would be able to eat from it later, without worrying about interference from the rancher, and his family. Grizzlies like to bury their food. They prefer rotten meat. Marinade, if you will. They will have several food caches all over their territory.
Grizzlies often steal kills from other predators, such as wolves, and these bears don't like sharing with others. They are very protective of their caches and kills. Many fatal human attacks have occurred because people have come into one of their food cache areas or have accidentally stumbled upon a bear's fresh kill. In the instance of the red Angus, this was not the case.
In the Himalayas, Yeti attacks on area farmers' yaks indicate that the creature is carnivorous. Killing for food. It is believed that Bigfoot's diet would consist of some vegetation, tree bark, lichen but also meat. It is believed that Bigfoot moves from higher elevations to lower elevations depending upon seasons. Following prey species such as elk and other game.
Why was the cow not eaten or carried away? Perhaps something startled it, such as human activity. Remember, a grizzly is extremely protective of its kills. The pasture in which the kill occurred receives quite a bit of traffic since the family purchased and moved on to the ranch. Children often use the pasture to ride their horses on. Work is a constant process on the ranch. From sun up until sun down and sometimes still beyond that. Hay fields off to one side are bordered by a narrow corridor of trees. The family constantly keeps tabs on their herd. Either on foot or by using pickup trucks, horses or even quads to move around. Since the family had practically just moved there, a lot of fencing and other work would have been going on at the time.
The kill may not have been food related at all. Just a territorial thing. An act out of frustration. Perhaps the cow had been too friendly. The cow had been closely raised by the ranching family ever since she was a calf. Her name was Kizzy. She was used to humans and a person could easily touch her. It is possible that the human-like appearance and behavior (walking on two legs) of a Bigfoot could have confused her.
It is unfortunate that I had not been able to personally view the carcass at the time. A photo would have been useful too. The rancher and his family are known to me. I have no reason to doubt what the rancher reported and remember, at no time did the rancher refer to Bigfoot. Considering the valley is known for its Bigfoot sightings one would think livestock would have occasionally become victims to these creatures. Perhaps there have been such kills only ranchers haven't made the connection. Going by the only predators they have known. Yeti's have been known to fatally attack yaks. Bigfoot could be responsible in this valley too. Perhaps the red Angus was just one such a case.
The rancher has on occasion, experienced loss of livestock with no signs indicating what could have happened. Besides theft by people, known predators are capable of doing this. It is also possible that Bigfoot is responsible for some of those disappearances. Until we have definitive proof, we will never know.
Barb Campbell, field researcher,
NCI BC Bigfoot, Trace Unknown