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WI: Birnamwood farmers face thousands in losses after cattle attacked

By Rebecca Cardenas

Birnamwood farmers Cindy and Dan Lex woke up Friday morning to five dead cattle. The USDA investigation points to coyotes, but the couple isn’t convinced.

“It’s the amount that got killed. That’s the hard part to stomach,” Cindy said, driving past the remaining cattle on the farm’s tractor.

She and her husband are Shawano County farmers.

“I didn’t know what to do. It was terrible,” Dan said.” They shouldn’t have to go through that.

Their 365-acre estate has been in Dan’s family for three generations.

“This is never happened before,” he asserted.

He woke up Friday morning to five missing cattle. The first yearling was found lying in the pasture.

“Wasn’t dead yet,” he recalled. “It got up and kept falling down because the leg was broken.”

He came across the next two on the south side of the pasture.

“One the neck was all eaten out of, and the other the hindquarter and the stomach was chewed up.”

The remaining two turned up the next morning, dead of apparent stress, and according to the couple, the animals were acting skittish days before the incident.

“There was something wrong and now I’m sorry I didn’t lock them up closer to the barn,” Dan said.

Cindy and Dan blame wolves.

“Coyotes have been here for a long, long time,” Cindy attested. “And we’ve never had an issue.”

But USDA Wildlife Services are not convinced.

“Given the body of evidence we found when were were there, wolves were present, and coyotes were not,” USDSA Wildlife Biologist David Ruid told NewsChannel 7.

“They say it wasn’t wolves, but I think it was,” Dan avouched.

Whether the cry is wolf or coyote, the couple simply hopes this doesn’t happen again.

“I get up in the middle of the night and listen outside and see if I hear any noise,” Dan said, describing the nights since the attacks.

“He’s like ‘I should have known’ or ‘I should have done this’ or ‘I should have done that,’ Cindy said of her husband. “But I’m like ‘you didn’t know.'”