ALPINE, Wyo. (CBS4) — About a dozen elk were pulled from the icy waters of a Wyoming reservoir Friday morning, thanks to several sets of helpful hands.
Up to 25 people joined in the effort to bring the elk to shore in most cases, according to a Facebook post by the Wyoming Game And Fish Department.
“Luckily, the elk fell in 20 yards from the shoreline which allowed us to open up a path in the ice back to shore,” stated the department in the post.
But a Facebook video provided by Dusty Jones showed the last two animals being pulled from the water directly onto the ice.
“What an amazing start to this day! All elk survived. Great to see the community come together and help these animals,” Jones wrote in his post.
The elk fell into a section of Palisades Reservoir which lies on the state’s western border with Idaho.
Jones, one of the first people to come upon the animals, guessed they were fooled by previous conditions.
“There is usually no water in that section this time of year,” Jones wrote to CBS4. He thought last year’s heavy winter runoff may have filled the reservoir to higher levels than usual.
The Fish and Game Department surmised ice conditions were a cause.
“The ice on the reservoir is weaker in some locations, likely due to some thermal springs underneath the surface, and the elk fell in.”
The department credited members of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the Wyoming Department of Transportation, and the local community for their assistance.