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Wednesday, Apr 23rd

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Caution: Do Not Explode Lightly

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Exploding cowWhere will you go when the cow, whale, and/or volcano blows?

Instead of starting with Parrotheads -- fans of Jimmy Buffett and his songs -- for clues, we first go to Colorado, where the U.S. Forest Service is pondering what to do with a group of stray cows that wandered away from the herd over the winter, then moseyed into a ranger cabin, making themselves at home.

Problem is, the guest cows never left the impromptu cow hotel, but checked all the way out at some point during the harsh winter.  Six cows are inside the cabin.  A few more are outside.  The carcasses were found in late March near the Conundrum Hot Springs in Aspen;  what to do next has become its own hot conundrum this Spring.

Spokesman Steve Segin told the BBC, "Obviously, time is of the essence because we don't want them defrosting."

The area is inside a federal wilderness area high in the Rocky Mountains, limiting some mechanical methods of disposal.  Water contamination is a concern as well as "negative interactions" with other wildlife, along with minimal disruption of the land.

None of the actions seems attractive:  Close off the area and wait for the cows to slowly go back to the land, or purposefully setting the ranger cabin on fire.  Another line of thought is to use explosives to break up the size of the animals to help speed up the decomposition process.

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