Confirmed livestock losses from the Oct. 4 blizzard already total more than 15,000. That number could easily double when the final losses are tallied.
South Dakota's state veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven said the state has verified the deaths of 14,507 cattle, 1,257 sheep, 288 horses and 40 bison. These numbers reflect voluntary reports only.
Oedekoven said many of the animals died from heart failure and hypothermia. Others drowned or were suffocated after drifting into low lying areas.
He expects the losses to total an estimated 30,000 in the end. He said he continues to receive loss reports daily.
"We have been encouraging producers to report losses in an effort gather an accurate measure of the disaster," Oedekoven said.
Reporting forms are available at www.aib.sd.gov or by calling 605-773-3321