A tiny puddle of water offers a lethal enticement of relief for any large mammal that might pass nearby. Desperate animals who seek to quench their thirst are quickly mired in the near bottomless mud and soon perish in the 112 plus degree weather. Photograph by Wyman Meinzer
Once ranchers find cattle that might be mired helplessly in mud, ropes and chains are employed to pull the cattle free. Often many of these animals perish quite soon following their rescue and are dragged to a distant location to be left to the whims of roaming coyotes by nightfall.
Water holes become deadly quagmires for all living creatures. Here, within a few meters of a desiccated waterhole, the skeletal remains of a Hereford cow lies bleaching in the sun after hungry coyotes consumed all edible flesh from the emaciated carcus.