KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — Big Island cattle ranchers said there has been a troubling and significant increase in the number of cows being killed over the past few years.
The most recent killing occurred at Armando Rodriguez’s farm, West Hawaii Today reported. Police Capt. Kenneth Quiocho said the cow was slain about Nov. 19, but officers have no leads as to who killed it. None of the animal’s meat or body parts were taken.
Guy Galimba, a long-time cattle rancher in Naalehu, said eight or nine of his cows have been killed in the same fashion. Galimba said he and other ranchers believe a person or people are killing the animals for the thrill of it.
“It’s a constant thing we’re battling,” Galimba said. “Whether they’re shooting the cows or cutting the fences, it’s something we’re constantly having to deal with. I wouldn’t call it an isolated case.”
Some of the ranchers said they feel there’s nothing police can do to help, so they’ve stopped reporting the slayings.
Ricky Souza, who’s been farming and ranching all his life, said one of his cows was shot in the shoulder and left for dead last year.
“I told the cops about it, but they can’t do nothing about it,” Souza said. “They have to catch the person in the act.”
Jerry Benevides, another rancher who leases land across Naalehu, has lost two cows to random shootings in the last year, including one within the last couple of months. He said he hasn’t reported the incidents because he filed police reports in the past to no avail.
Police have stressed that all crimes, including agricultural crimes, should be reported so that they have the clearest picture of what’s going on in the community and can adjust policing strategies accordingly — even if they can’t always correct the wrongdoing immediately.
Police also warned those who might be getting fed up about the dangers of vigilantism.
“The public is not being advised to take action,” Quiocho said. “However, they are cautioned to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity to report this activity to police.”
Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com