There were no marks on the animals and 13 other head of cattle in the herd with them were unharmed. State veterinarian Dr. David Schmitt investigated the deaths. “From all information that we have received…those cows and that bull went through ice and died of either hypothermia or drowning,” Schmitt says.
Tests found no evidence that the cattle were poisoned or were sick. “Nothing came back as far as any indication of a pesticide or a contagious or infectious disease,” Schmitt said. “Certainly when thawing occurs and ice gets thin…with enough load weight, animals can go through the ice.”
A similar incident occurred this winter in South Dakota, according to Schmitt, where a rancher lost 40 head of cattle when they fell through thin ice.
reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ