Seventeen Cattle Mysteriously Die at Gilmer Ranch - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/30/04 - Longview

Seventeen Cattle Mysteriously Die at Gilmer Ranch

     An East Texas rancher is looking for a logical explanation after seventeen of his cows fall dead within hours, with no obvious reason. It was Sunday that rancher Ronny Blasengame and his longtime neighbor A.D. Varner began finding dead cattle on a ranch off of Cherokee trace near Gilmer.

    "As I'm dragging one off i happened to see another one laying on the ground" says  Blasengame. "It seemed like the more we looked the more we found... After that second one I knew something was going on then" says Varner.

    They found numerous others dead or dying , and at the end of the day 17 were dead... With no visible marks as to what killed them.. All of the animals they found were near a new oil rig that was being worked on their property.

   "Well I'm trying to find out what happened , because if it's illness or disease on the place , but it doesn't seem like it if all of them died in a short period of time" says Blasengame. The only clue for Blasengame when he found his dead cattle was a mysterious jelly on the ground that surrounded the wellhead site.

   An area Ag-extension agent told us that a clear jelly-like fungus sometimes oozes out of the ground in spring , but it isn't deadly. A local vet service examined the cows but couldn't determine a cause of death. Meanwhile more animals have turned up dead, a family dog and a squirrel appearing to die from the same thing.

  "They died from something they ingested or breathed or something of that nature" says Varner. Remains of the cattle are being examined to determine the exact cause of death. Bob Hallmark reporting.

Bob Hallmark, reporting

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