Some hikers in Oregon recently found 19 dead elk, which state Fish and Wildlife officials say were likely the victims of an avalanche.
The hikers made the discovery last week near No Name Lake and Broken Top mountain peak, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said.
Melting snow revealed the elk carcasses, which included bulls, cows and calves, wildlife biologist Jamie Bowles said, according to the Bulletin of Bend, Ore.
“It was really unsettling to see in person,” Bowles told the paper.
The elk suffered broken limbs and antlers, as well as torn hides from the avalanche. Their bodies were also twisted and contorted.
Bowles said it was not clear when the avalanche took place, but believes it was likely last summer after the winter of 2016-17, when the area had a record amount of snowfall.
The wildlife biologist told the paper that, based on the regions researchers have been able to study, it is rare for elk to get trapped in avalanches, however, he noted it could be taking place in more remote areas.
Bowles said the elk will not be removed as it is unnecessary and too dangerous.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.