MANILA, Daggett County — Authorities are investigating the deaths of five cows that were apparently mutilated after they died.

In the past two weeks, three cows have been found dead in separate fields on the county's west side, according to Daggett County sheriff's spokewoman Susie Potter. The cause of death for each animal is unknown, Potter said, adding that there were two other unexplained cattle deaths in November 2013.

"All of the cows have shown evidence of postmortem mutilation, leading law enforcement to suspect foul play," Potter said.

The mutilation was "definitely not" caused by a predator like a mountain lion or a coyote, she said.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have noticed anything suspicious or may know anything about the deaths to call the sheriff's office at 435-784-3255 or 435-789-4222. All tips will be kept confidential, Potter said.

— Geoff Liesik