COURTESY TO THE STAR-BULLETIN
Sometime overnight on Saturday, these three adult sheep were beaten and stabbed to death at Omao Farms on Kauai.
3 sheep beaten, stabbed to death on Kauai ranch
Three sheep were found brutally beaten and stabbed to death on a Kauai ranch Sunday morning, and several others received minor injuries.
"It's really a different type of violence, like I've never seen before," said Daryl Kaneshiro, owner of Omao Farms, a 300-acre cattle and sheep ranch.
Kaneshiro said he has had cattle poached before -- shot and the meat taken, which he can understand.
"But when you maliciously stab and kill pregnant ewes and kill a ram for fun and leave them right there dying, it's a little different," Kaneshiro said. "It's just a senseless act."
The sheep were kept in an area along a well-traveled highway between Koloa and Lawai.
The three were part of Omao Farms' breeding stock: a prized mouflon ram and two pregnant ewes due in a couple of weeks. They were found with multiple knife wounds, broken bones and bruises from beatings. Two had their necks broken.
Kaneshiro and the Kauai Humane Society are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the crime. People with information are asked to call the Humane Society at 808-632-0610.
Becky Rhoades, executive director of the Kauai Humane Society, said: "This is a very disturbing act of violence toward helpless animals.
"The person(s) involved are dangerous to the community with such intentional violence and disregard for suffering. Their violence may escalate towards people, and we need to do what we can to identify them and prevent further violence."
Kaneshiro said he had set aside nine lambs in a pen for youths with the 4-H Club to pick from. When the kids arrived Saturday morning, the lambs appeared spooked and were jittery; two hid under a boulder and two jumped out, Kaneshiro said. Three were missing but were later found.
Kaneshiro said he thinks the perpetrators might have come Friday night and scared the lambs, possibly causing them to jump out of the pen.
Kaneshiro said the suspects might have returned Saturday night or early Sunday morning and killed the other sheep.
He said the acts would have required more than one person to herd the livestock from a large paddock into a smaller pen and kill them there.
Kaneshiro does not believe it was a vendetta.
He noted that shooting the animals would have accomplished the task. "Why waste your time taking the risk of being caught?" he said.
Also, rather than being armed, the suspects used tree branches to beat the sheep, and appeared to have used a small pocketknife to stab them.
"I suspect this was just a group of guys just roaming the town, having fun," he said.
Kaneshiro has about 250 sheep on his ranch, but only 40 to 50 were at the location of the killing.