- (PHOTO:REUTERS/Arizona Game and Fish Department/Handout)
Due to the lack of state funding, predators surrounding a seemingly deserted cabin will be treated to a free buffet after a herd of cattle became lost during a snowstorm and froze to death.
Officials were uncertain how to handle the iceberg situation, when a number of stray cattle wandered into a deserted Colorado cabin and then froze to death. It is believed that the cattle entered the cabin but were then unable to free themselves. With warmer months approaching, officials fear that the dead animals will soon defrost and begin to decompose.
To avoid an even messier situation, a decision was made to saw the animals into pieces and scatter the remains across a wide area, in an effort to draw predators away from a popular, nearby campground.
"It would be like predators having a buffet," Bill Kight of the U.S. Forest Service said.
Air Force Academy cadets who had been snowshoeing in the area discovered the frozen carcasses near the end of March. Other options to rid the animals of the cabin included setting a fire or utilizing explosives. While setting a fire may have been a more preferable option, state officials explained that it was just not in the budget.
In order to set a fire in a wilderness area, officials would be required to do an environmental assessment, which can be an expensive process.
"We just don't have the funds to do it right now," Knight said.
Once the buffet begins, hikers will be cautioned off the area for at least a month until predators have had a chance to have their fair share. Those likely to partake in the buffet will include bears and mountain lions. Knight also suggested that a sign would be posted on the cabin door, to warn others of the possible contamination.