Two calves stolen from a ranch in southern Tulare County are safe after being found with their hooves tied inside an abandoned Honda in Southern California.
The strange case started March 3 when Mid Valley Milk Company calf ranch near Delano reported that two calves had been stolen.
Tulare County ag crimes detectives went to the ranch and learned the calves were last seen the evening before during a feeding cycle.
A calf hutch had been moved. Ranch workers tracked footprints and hoof tracks on a dirt road, but the tracks disappeared at a paved road.
The Holstein calves are about 3 months old and weigh about 220 pounds each, the sheriff’s office said.
About 8:25 a.m. Saturday, California Highway Patrol officers from the San Gorgonio Pass office found an abandoned 2001 Honda Civic on the shoulder of Interstate 10 east of Highland Springs. They found a calf on the floor of the back seat crammed behind a front seat, and one in the trunk.
Both calves had their hooves tied together.
The CHP called the Riverside County brand inspector for help, and the calves were taken to a local sales yard, where they were identified by ear tags and returned to the calf ranch.
The Honda was registered to a home in Tulare County. The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, the CHP and the Bureau of Livestock Identification are working the case.
It’s a felony to steal livestock.
Cattle theft is reported from time to time. Last year, two men pleaded no contest to stealing cattle from several ranches in Tulare County.
Anyone with information should call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Ag Crimes division at 559-735-1898.