It’s been a bad year to be a sheep. Maybe there’s never been a good year to be one, but 2017 has proved especially hard on sheep worldwide. From unexplained mass sheep mutilations in New Zealand and the Scottish highlands to reports of the Chupacabra reportedly picking off sheep in India, it seems dark forces have gotten the taste for mutton. Maybe that’s why hundreds of sheep mysteriously committed suicide in France a few months back. Whatever is stalking and devouring these sheep, it seems as if it’s gotten better at hiding its tracks.
Shepherds in southern Norway have reported several cases of mysterious sheep disappearances. While poaching and livestock theft is certainly nothing new, it’s the circumstances surrounding the disappearances that have farmers and law enforcement baffled. Each of the affected farmers reports missing sheep alongside a disturbing lack of any physical evidence, including intact fences, and no blood or wool littering their pastures.
Kåre Blålid, leader of a local association of sheep and goat farmers, told news outlet NRK that “We look at this with concern, and this is something we have to talk about in the organization. This is very unusual for us, but we are hoping the police will take care of it.”
Strangely, a few butchers in the area have reported discovering fish hooks in the wool and flesh of sheep selected for butchering. Has someone invented a new form of sport fishing? Are drones armed with hooks and winches swooping in to pick up hapless sheep? Could this be chalked up to the same forces behind cattle mutilations? For now, this one remains a good ol’ fashioned mystery.