Explosives considered to free frozen cows from a cabin

by Molly Novak

A group of cows were found frozen in an old ranger cabin high in the Rocky Mountains and it may take explosives to dislodge them.

Two Airforce Cadets found the carcasses while snow-shoeing up to the cabin in late March, reported the Star Tribune.

The Forest Service said Tuesday the cows are from a herd of 29 that went missing last fall from the nearby Gunnison National Forest. They said there were about six cows inside the building and several around it, but the snow makes it difficult to see how many there are.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Steve Segin said Tuesday to the Star Tribune they need to decide quickly how to get rid of the carcasses.

Seign said water contamination in the nearby hot springs is a concern if they cows start decomposing during the thaw. The options for disposing of the animals: explosives to break them up, burn down the cabin or use a helicopter or truck to haul the carcasses out.

Helicopters are too expensive and trucks would hurt the naturally preserved environment. The Forest Service has used explosives to destroy animal carcasses that can't be removed, Segin told the Star Tribune.

"We've used them as a means of disposal to remove dead horses, elk and other animals in areas where it's impossible to get them out," he said