FORD COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — The Ford County sheriff is investigating after several animals have been found dead at a hunting preserve.
It happened earlier this week near Minneoloa, just south of Dodge City.
Ryan Engelking, the owner of the preserve says more than a dozen of his animals are dead or missing.
“Are they done,” he asked, worried the perpetrators might return. “Are they going to come back?”
On Monday, he stumbled across a dead ram. All of the meat was missing from it, and he assumed coyotes killed it.
“Then I got another 75 yards down the trail,” he said, “and there’s two more rams laying dead completely intact with a hole through each side of them.”
Engleking says four of his animals are confirmed dead — evidently from puncture wounds — but he says he is missing several black bucks and up to eight rams.
“It’s borderline sadistic. They came in, they killed. They took some things, they left everything else to lay.”
Not only is this emotional for Engleking, the animal owner also lost a pricey investment.
“It’s huge. Originally we were hoping it would stay with five, ten thousand. As of now, I think we’re closer to 20, 25, 30 thousand in losses.”
Englking doesn’t have insurance. He says he tried for more than a year to get his animals covered, but no one would insure exotic animals.
He has also come across several injured animals with more puncture wounds and is treating them himself.
“We doctored one today. Hopefully it lives. It’s 50/50. It’s wildlife.”
The exotic animal owner is offering a thousand dollar reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
“Criminals are criminals,” he said. “I’m not giving them any slack.”
The ford county sheriff says they don’t have any concrete information at this time. They’re asking the public to come forward with any information that might help the investigation.