Elk, Facing Slow Starvation, Shot on Canyon Ledge

Elk, Facing Slow Starvation, Shot on Canyon Ledge

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah game managers shot and killed five elk that got trapped on a ledge in Price Canyon -- with NO chance of rescue.

The elk were shot after wildlife authorities gave up futile efforts at rescue -- ranging from blasting a path back to safety to a helicopter hoist called too dangerous.

Two other bull elk already had died on the ledge, apparently of starvation.

The remaining elk were in poor shape, and even their meat wasn't salvageable.

Regional big-game manager Bill Bates says his agency had no choice but to shoot the five elk on Thursday.

The elk, apparently one by one, had climbed down to a 30-foot-wide cliff. Once there, they had no way to get down or back up to a plateau where other elk are known to graze.

Rescue crews used explosives to blast a path back up to the plateau, but that didn't work.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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