Elk die after falling through ice at Paonia Reservoir
December 30, 2008
GUNNISON, Colo. ” State wildlife officials say more than a dozen elk have died since Sunday after falling through the ice at Paonia Reservoir in Gunnison County.
The Colorado Division of Wildlife says a concerned citizen called authorities Sunday to report seeing elk in the reservoir. A wildlife officer responded and found eight dead elk in the water, about 80 yards from the bank.
The division received similar calls Tuesday and found 11 elk in the reservoir, five of which were barely alive. A wildlife officer euthanized those animals.
J Wenum, area wildlife manager in Gunnison, says the situation is unfortunate but not unusual in Colorado during the winter.
Wenum says the reservoir is a source of drinking water for the animals, but the ice isn’t thick enough to hold numerous elk, which can weigh up to 900 pounds each.