View Full Version : Rita Slays Thousands of Cattle

09-27-2005, 12:47 AM
Updated: 05:13 PM EDT
Rita May Have Killed Thousands of Cattle

BATON ROUGE, La. (Sept. 26) - The Army used Blackhawk helicopters to search for thousands of cattle feared stranded in high water Monday amid reports that more than 4,000 may have been killed in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita.


Roughly a third of the Louisiana's cattle are raised in coastal areas now under water.

"Take all the coastal parishes, they all had cattle," said Bob Felknor, spokesman for the Louisiana Cattlemen's Association. "It could be more than 30,000 in trouble."

The storm flattened towns and swamped fields in Cameron and Vermilion parishes, just east of the Texas line. Scores of cattle were seen swimming in the brown floodwaters.

"The big thing now is the focus on keeping the cattle alive," said Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, commander of the military task force in charge in Louisiana.

He said there were reports that 4,000 cattle died in Cameron Parish alone, where ranchers on horseback struggled to herd the animals into corrals attached to pickup trucks.

The military may use satellite positioning systems to help spot surviving animals, Honore said.

Authorities were also trying to clear roads to tiny Pecan Island to rescue roughly 5,000 cattle there, said Robert LeBlanc, director of the Vermilion Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness. He said helicopters may be called in.

"These people's livelihood depends on this," LeBlanc said of the parish's approximately 500 livestock farmers.

Louisiana had some 860,000 head of cattle as of Jan. 1. With most of coastal Louisiana's residents out of harm's way, officials turned some of their attention to trying to save cattle. Roughly a third of the state's cattle are raised in coastal areas now under water.

Any high ground - levees, highways, even parking lots - was being used to hold the thousands of rescued cattle, Felknor said.

Hay to feed the animals was being brought down from central and northern parts of the state, as well as from Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.

"The problem we're having is transportation," Felknor said. "We have to get more trucks."

Associated Press Writer Brett Martel in Cameron, La., contributed to this report.

09/26/05 14:45 EDT

09-27-2005, 03:48 AM
Through these diasaters not only pets, but livestock, and wild animals suffer.
We worry about human life, (as it should be) but the lifestock and so forth get in real trouble.

I remember years ago we had an ice storm, that stopped highway travel. Several cattle trucks were stranded, and some of the cattle had died in the severe cold. Many more would have, but Hubby, led the trucks to his company yard, and put all the trucks inside. (It was a large well known company) :winky

Any way they all survived, and he was called on the carpet. Nothing happened as it turned out most bosses liked and wanted to help them too.

Around here we have lowlands and horses sometimes get in flood water, but so far we get them all to higher ground.

I always worry about the wild life and what they do to survive? Still they have better chances than some in zoos. (But of course we can't just turn wild animals lose to give them a better chance.)

We are now doing more with human rescue, and in my opinion, we should do the same with our animals.

I surely understand people not wanting to leave their pets behind.

Mr. Lemon Pocket
09-27-2005, 07:12 AM
I have an aunt named Rita, so the title to this thread sort of freaked me out.

Lyn Is Snide
09-27-2005, 01:29 PM
I can't help but think it wasn't nearly as horrible as what they would have gone through at the slaughterhouse. :( :sad :( :sad

09-27-2005, 07:48 PM
What a wonderful post, Grace.

Last week, I was worried about the Texas cattle. I had no clue that Louisiana had so many ranchers. I know the importance of cattle on Texas economy. I can't imagine it is any different in Louisiana.

In Texas, you don't think about livestock as pets, but a commodity and investment. They are raised with us believing they are unfeeling animals, with only their future ribeyes in mind (which I whole-heartedly believe in and love). However, if you have ever looked at a cow right in the eyes, you know better. But, as I posted earlier, how do you evacuate a million head of cattle, when you can't even take care of your housepet.

Another thing, in Texas, your cowdogs and huntingdogs, are valuable assets you WILL NOT abandon. These dogs can cost thousands of dollars. And you've spent years in training. I don't see it being any different in Louisiana. I was happy to see with Rita, pets and animals were a big consideration. People evacuated a lot quicker when their pet were with them.

Government needs to learn animal rescue is as important as human rescue. In the beginning and end. Did anyone see the news this morning showing that one dog struggling against the pumps in Louisiana. The news reporter couldn't get to him and the dog was stuck in the current made by the pump and they were afraid he would be sucked in. He was worn out swimming and struggling against the current. Several animals had already been sucked into the pump. When I left for work, the dog had landed against the strainer and the news crew was hoping he could hang on. They were reporting that they were trying to shut off the pumps in time for someone to come save the dog. I had to leave, I don't know what happened.

09-27-2005, 08:20 PM
Thanks for the compliment Gigglehoot. :)

In these disasters there is so much more life than we think about.
I made a statement about "maybe an elderly lady that only had one pet, and that pet is her life, her family, her child. Asking someone like that to leave their pet behind would be like asking a mother to leave her baby."

I hope someone can tell us if they got that dog or not? I was like you and had to leave, but was very upset watching it just swim. I did see it try to rest on that wall like area.

I heard an hour later it had got in a tunnel, and they still did not have it and I have kept listening all day? Seems the news just dropped the story?

For goodness sake, I can't see why they were not in more of a hurry, The news man was upset, But I would have been raising more of a ruckus than he was. :winky