500 attempted to cross a frozen lake.
Mother Nature can be a cruel mistress. That point is further proven by an incident in Idaho in which 30 pronghorn antelope died after trying to cross a frozen lake.
Magic Valley.com reports some ice fishermen were witness to the event where a herd of 500 pronghorns attempted to cross Lake Wolcott last Sunday. While 200 of the pronghorns made it safely across, another large group became spooked.
And when the group ran onto one of the slicker spots of ice in the lake, some of them fell. In the end, 47 pronghorns were left injured or stranded.
The next morning Fish and Game officials and state wildlife veterinarian Mark Drew returned to the scene after abandoning rescue attempts the previous evening due to fading light. Unfortunately, 10 of the pronghorns had not made it through the night. Coyotes had taken advantage of the situation for an easy meal.
The crew ended up having to euthanize another 20 pronghorn that had dislocated shoulders or hips from their falls on the ice.
The good news was six of the animals were uninjured and the rescue crews were able to return them to the shore and freedom from their predicament via airboat.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in my 26-year career,” regional wildlife manager Daryl Meints said in a press release.
While it is an unfortunate situation, there is one silver lining. Meat from the 20 euthanized pronghorns will be donated for people in need.
Incredibly, this isn’t the first mass-death incident involving a herd of animals on ice this winter. Back in December, 41 elk died after falling through ice on Brownlee Reservoir in Oregon.