It’s not a problem you face every day: How can you move six frozen cows from a mountain cabin, located 11,200 feet above sea level? That’s the task faced by the Colorado Forest service — and they have to do it quickly, before the cows thaw out, MSNBC reports.
The condemned cattle had strayed from their herd of 29 while moving through a snowstorm last year, seeking sanctuary in a Forest Service cabin. The cows, long since dead, were discovered in March by some unsuspecting travelers.
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The cows need to be destroyed or removed before their bodies thaw and decay, which would infect the hot water springs, a popular attraction in Colorado. Yet even seasoned forest security officials – experienced in dead horse and elk removal — have been left befuddled as to what to do, as the use of explosives or a controlled fire could scar the land or pose a serious fire danger.
An alternative option is the use of trucks to wheel the animals away, but these are usually prohibited in habitats like this, which require preservation. Helicopters to fly the cows away have also been ruled out for being too expensive.
As officials ponder their next move, they couldn’t do it in a better place — the area is called Conundrum Hot Springs.