The carcasses of 16 head of cattle - 13 cows, two bulls and a calf - were found Friday on a ranch off County Road 357. According to a report filed Monday, in the Brown County Sheriff's Office, all of the livestock are suspected to have died from thirst and or starvation.

Sheriff's Sgt. Brian Lundy reported he responded to an anonymous report, and the landowner said the cattle had died because of the lack of water. The landowner said he had been contacted by a neighbor Aug. 6 and told he had dead cattle on the place. The only source of water on the ranch is an earthen tank, the landowner told Lundy.

Lundy reported that some of the cattle he saw "had been dead for a considerable amount of time." He also noted in the report the presence of cactus thorns in the faces, heads and necks of the cattle was further evidence to him the cattle were dying of thirst and starvation.

"At least one of the cows died from trying to get a drink of water, but got bogged down in mud approximately 15 feet from the edge of the water," Lundy reported.

"Judging from the dried mud around the tank, it had been a long time since any cattle had made it to the water. There were no tracks."

The landowner's wife told Lundy she had last checked the cattle on July 30, and there had not been a problem then and she did not realize the tank was nearly dry, but they had learned a valuable lesson from the incident.

According to Lundy, half of the ranch land is in Brown County, and the other half is in Comanche County.