Sheep Killed in Two Attacks at Maryland Farm - NBC4 Washington

Sheep Killed in Two Attacks at Maryland Farm



    Something is attacking animals on a farm in Gaithersburg. Derrick Ward reports. (Published Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012)

    Owners of a farm in Gaithersburg, Md., say something has been killing their sheep, and there's growing concern that the animal attacks could start to move farther up the food chain.

    Stephanie Scuderi didn’t hear the sheep getting attacked in the middle of the night, but in the morning, goats and other animals were acting strange, telling her something was wrong.

    "When we got up we looked outside, and I noticed … some sheep had been killed," she said.

    And it was the second such attack in three weeks. Among the victims were sheep of a prized genetic line and a pregnant ewe – likely the slower ones that couldn’t escape.

    Scuderi said it looked like the work of a pack of predators, and a vet confirmed the bites look canine.

    What's more troubling is the animals were not eaten or eviscerated. It was killing for sport.

    Coyotes don't normally hunt in packs, so perhaps they were wild dogs or even domesticated animals, allowed to roam free and succumbing to their baser instincts. If the latter is the case, the signs would be obvious to the owners. The dogs would have gone home covered in blood, Scuderi said.

    The attacks raise concern about what could happen if small children were around. The sheep weighed in excess of 200 pounds.

    While the killers may be a mystery, there's no mystery in the notion that they've found easy prey and they're likely to come back, Scuderi said.