Thousands of cattle killed in Colorado spring snowstorm

Cows in the snow. (Photo: Paula R. Lively/Flickr/Creative Commons)

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Cows in the snow. (Photo: Paula R. Lively/Flickr/Creative Commons)

Thousands of cattle died or wandered off earlier this week when more than two feet of snow blanketed Southeastern Colorado.

The Colorado Farm Bureau estimates thousands of cattle died in the snowdrifts, according to KUSA.

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"(The cattle) just get too weak because they've been trying to fight and get out of the snow that they just kind of give up and lay there," Austin Schroder, a rancher in Campo, told KOAA.

Baca County officials estimated about 400 cattle died and many others wandered into Oklahoma after 27 inches of snow fell Friday through Sunday, according to KDVR.

The cattle got loose when snow drifts, which were 10 to 15 feet in some areas, buried fencing. Some of the lost bovine were found three miles into Oklahoma, according to KOAA.

"Everybody is still out just trying to take care of what is alive," farmer Gary Melcher told KUSA. "They haven't had a chance to really analyze what the true loss is yet."