According to Northwest Cable News and the Baker City, OR Herald, at least 41 animals drowned this week.

We've all heard the warnings all over the Columbia Basin and Pacific Northwest about steering clear of lakes, ponds and rivers that appear to be covered with ice, but are only paper thick on top. Unlike parts of the U.S. that annually freeze over, most Northwest waters that freeze may look solid, but they're treacherously thin.

Oregon officials say an entire herd of 41 elk died Tuesday when they were trying to cross the Brownlee Reservoir 40 miles East of Baker City.

Oregon Fish and Wildlife officials say the herd was trying to cross the water on the North side near the Powder River, when the ice broke in at least four large areas. The elk were not able to make it back to shore, and the entire herd went under the water. Wildlife officials raced to the area, but were not able to save any of the elk.

A dive and search team briefly explored the waters to see if any of the animals could at least be salvaged for meat purposes, but they're too far down and they say that's not an option.

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