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CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK, Garfield County — Authorities are considering criminal charges after several cattle were found in the park that apparently starved to death.
Between 15 and 20 calves and adult animals have died due to lack of cattle feed in their immediate areas, with more found starving or malnourished, Garfield County spokeswoman Denise Dastrup said.
She did not know the exact area in Capitol Reef National Park where they were found, but said it was dry and there was very little water or food in the area.
County officials first heard of the situation in mid-July, but they believe it has been going on since the beginning of June, Dastrup said.
Officials were considering possible animal cruelty charges for the cattlemen, as well as a few other people who may have been involved.
The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the county attorney take mistreated animal situations very seriously, Dastrup said.
“The ranching community of Garfield County love their livestock and are proud of their heritage and the way they take care of their animals,” Dastrup said. “This incident in no way reflects the care given to the majority of livestock by the cattlemen of Garfield County and will be dealt with in the appropriate manner.”