Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dead cow poses puzzler

Thanks to Cranky Yankee of the New England Anomaly for bringing this stinker to our attention! The photo, by Terry Karkos of the Lewiston Sun Journal, states, "The bloated body of what looks like a Hereford cow, bottom center, lies atop a pile of rocks and driftwood along the Androscoggin River on Monday morning opposite Rumford paper mill NewPage Corp."
River washes dead cow ashore
By Terry Karkos , Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 05:00 am

RUMFORD - High water along the Androscoggin River in early April apparently washed a dead Hereford cow over Pennacook Falls and left its bloated body atop rocks 100 feet below the Rumford Avenue snow dump, police said.

Police were notified on Sunday about the reddish-brown beast with white markings, but don't know who to call to try and get rid of it before the stench increases to affect nearby Cumberland Street residents.

Due to the seemingly unreachable location, Sgt. David Bean said Monday that Rumford's Public Works crew probably can't retrieve it and dispose of it properly.

But if the cow was higher up, where they could access it, Bean said a crew could probably dump a load of gravel on it.

"It's a decaying body, so maybe they could put something on it if they could reach it. Police aren't equipped to do anything like that, but it needs to be covered until it rots away. It's right in the middle of a big pile of rocks under a 100-foot drop. Nature has to take its course, I guess," Bean said.

Police first learned of the bovine on April 4 when an Information Booth worker called about seeing the dead animal floating in the Reflection Pool below Pennacook Falls.

Bean and Officer Lawrence Winson responded, only to watch high water sweep the animal over the falls and downriver opposite Morse Bridge.

He said police are unsure how the cow ended up in the river or where it came from.

"There are no dairy farms along the river that have that breed. The only ones that I'm aware of have black Holsteins. This one looks like a Hereford," Bean said.

He said he doesn't know if someone put the dead cow on the ice this winter to be swept away come spring or if the animal wandered onto the ice somewhere upriver, fell through and drowned. No cattle farmers have reported a missing Hereford to Bean's knowledge.

Disoriented moose occasionally wander through this Western Maine town, but bovines in the Androscoggin are an oddity.

Although, last spring, Bean said a dead cow was seen floating in high water at about the same time as the current one, "but it disappeared before we got a chance to see it."


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