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30 antelope die after trying to cross frozen Snake River

Idaho Fish and Game says 30 pronghorn antelope died after a large herd tried to cross the frozen Snake River at Lake Walcott.

On Monday, IDFG staff had to euthanize 20 of the antelope who were injured trying to cross the river and that were stranded on the ice. IDFG says another 10 were killed by coyotes but six pronghorns were rescued from the frozen lake.

IDFG was notified by ice anglers about the stranded antelope on Sunday Jan. 15. The anglers said a herd of about 500 pronghorns was seen crossing the frozen water. About half made it across when the herd was spooke and ran onto extremely slick ice.

Fish and Game staff investigated that afternoon and found 47 pronghorn stranded in the middle of the frozen river. Due the remote area and fading light, staffers decided to gather equipment and mount a rescue the following morning.

Fish and Game staff and state wildlife veterinarian Mark Drew were on the ice by 9 a.m. and used an airboat to reach the animals. They found 36 pronghorn remaining, but 10 had been killed by predators.

The team was able to get six uninjured pronghorns into the airboat and transport and release them back on shore. Drew examined all the stranded animals and determined that the other 20 had suffered significant injuries due to slipping on the ice and dislocating hips and shoulders. Those animals were euthanized, and the meat was salvaged, processed and is being donated to people in need.

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