Brian Anderson walked into his dairy farm last Thursday morning expecting to see Scorcher, a five-day-old calf who he left sleeping in its enclosure the night before.
The calf was gone. In its place were puddles of blood and a broken arrow.
That arrow was apparently used in an attack against the calf, which was caught on surveillance footage at Eagles Acres Dairy, a small, family-run farm in Langley, B.C.
RCMP are now investigating.
The footage, which Anderson reviewed shortly after the discovery, shows a man and a woman entering the barn at about 4:45 a.m. PT.
For eight minutes, Anderson said, the man shot the calf with up to six arrows using a crossbow. When the animal remained alive and standing, the man stabbed it repeatedly with an arrow.
Watch the man approach the enclosure and roll under the gate:
RCMP say they’re investigating footage from a Metro Vancouver dairy farm that shows a couple attacking and killing a calf. The attack is not shown here in this edited version. 0:38
The man dragged the body out of the farm and placed it in the trunk of a black luxury SUV, before driving off with the woman.
“Looking at the video was a gut-wrenching experience,” Anderson said.
“It was disturbing to us even being farmers who understand what death is.”
Motive not known
The case garnered attention Thursday after Anderson posted stills from the surveillance footage on the farm’s Facebook page.
RCMP Cpl. Holly Largy said investigators reviewed the surveillance video and are hoping the public can help identify the two trespassers.
The motive for the attack is unclear, she said.
“Potentially they took it for a veal for a restaurant or there could be more sinister type of things that I couldn’t begin to conceive,” Largy said. “But I honestly don’t know why they did it.”
Anderson said the male and female trespassers appeared to be Asian and in their mid-to-late 20s or early 30s.
A camera captured the couple driving away, but the licence plate is not visible.
The farm, which opened in 1999, offers tours to schools and drop-in visits in a wide, open space.
Anderson installed the cameras to monitor cows giving birth, he said, but the farm remains largely unsecured at night.
“To surround ourselves with a gate and a fence is just not practical,” he said.