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Two elk rescued from frozen Colorado pond

The rescue crews used chainsaws to break up the ice and clear a path to shore for the elk, Deputy Alex Burchetta said.

By Ben Hooper

ASPEN, Colo., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Authorities in Colorado said crews were able to rescue two of the three elk that fell through the ice covering a residential pond near Aspen.

The Pitkin County Sheriff's Office said emergency responders with the sheriff's office, the Aspen Fire Department and Colorado Department of Wildlife participated in the rescue after a homeowner reported the three elk were trapped in the pond near the Snowmass ski area about 8 a.m. Monday.

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"They cut a path in the ice about four feet wide and 25 feet long with chainsaws and allowed the elk to come to the shore," Deputy Alex Burchetta told The Denver Post. "The elk were in there for about two hours or so and by the time we were able to get the ice free and them to the shoreline one of [the elk] was unable to make it and died."

The sheriff's office said the first elk was rescued about 10:25 a.m. The second animal was removed from the water a few minutes later. The third elk did not survive.

"Aspen Fire & medics from Aspen Ambulance did an amazing job," the sheriff's department tweeted.

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