Cattle found dead, dying of starvation in Capitol Reef

Composite stock image used for illustrative purposes only, St. George News

GARFIELD COUNTY — Garfield County officials are investigating the death of several head of cattle found recently in Capitol Reef National Park.

Photo of calf in remote area of Capitol Reef National Park, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

“It appears they had starved to death due to lack of feed in the immediate area,” Garfield County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Denise Dastrup wrote in a press statement issued Wednesday.

Dastrup later told St. George News approximately 15-20 animals were involved, including both adult cows and young calves.

County officials have not said whether any of the animals were able to be rescued alive but did confirm that several dead cattle have been removed from the area.

Sheriff Danny Perkins said that the incident is still under investigation and that criminal charges may be pending against the person or persons responsible.

“The Garfield County Sheriff and Garfield County Attorney take situations such as these extremely seriously and the case is currently being screened for criminal charges,” the Sheriff’s Office statement said. “The ranching community of Garfield County love their livestock and are proud of their heritage and the way they take care of their animals. This incident in no way reflects the care given to the majority of livestock by the cattlemen of Garfield County, and will be dealt with in the appropriate manner.”

Perkins told St. George News it’s unfortunate someone didn’t notice the distressed cattle earlier and notify the proper authorities, as law enforcement officers and area ranchers would’ve been able to step in and help.

Anyone who suspects livestock is being neglected or abused may contact Garfield County Sheriff’s Office at 435-676-2678.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.


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  • Sinbad July 27, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    What’s unfortunate is that had the allotment been assessed by the governing agency or rancher, cattle should not have been allowed there. Just because someone has a permit doesn’t mean they should use it. Forage is scare everywhere due to drought and ranchers need to not put their livestock out to fend for themselves in such conditions. Very cruel and tragic.

    • comments July 27, 2018 at 10:02 pm

      cruel? yes

      tragic? well, these were beef cattle, right? So is the tragedy in all that good beef going to waste or what? This might be the death they’d preferred if they were even aware of their purpose in life. They were born to be steaks. Delicious, juicy, perfectly seared steaks. mmmm

  • PlanetU July 27, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    “Criminal charges may be pending???” I look forward to see if something actually happens to these heartless bastards.

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