(Vail) The growing problem of abandoned sheep in Western Colorado is approaching epidemic proportions according to a filtered statement released by Colorado Ski Country on Thursday. Skiers are warned to beware of the woolly obstacles in areas where snowfall is light. Over 52 collisions have occurred since Christmas.

     Transient ski bums, who often discard their winter pets at the end of the ski season, are being blamed for the conditions. The poor sheep, made stupid by years of cruel breeding, have no other choice than to return to instinctual habitats which provide safety from predators and minimal nourishment in the lean months.

     “Sure, our slopes attract all kinds of animals due to general serenity and the extreme grazing potential,” said E.F. Mutton, a broker employed by the state tourism bureau. “The reality is frightening for mammals of all kinds and dangerous for plants and minerals too.”

     Electric fences have been installed at Crested Butte in an effort to keep the woolies off the slopes and the skiers in bounds. Many of the intrusive animals brandished signs saying Bo Peep-No steep and We’re sheep and we vote!

     “We have a lot of trouble distinguishing the clever sheep from snowboarders,” said one lift operator. “We’ve had meetings and organized night patrols. All we’ve concurred at this time is that the sheep are better mannered.”

     A recent collision at Telluride resulted in an impromptu lamb roast at Gorrono Park while at Monarch a shoot to kill ordinance has been adopted. Ski Dallas has shut its lifts down permanently even though no sheep have been seen within ten miles of the place. Powderhorn, long a sanctuary ski area, did not respond to our herding efforts earlier in the week.

     What is making matters worse down in Montrose is the increase in the price of lamb which tempts poachers from as far away as Pea Green and Hoover’s Corner.

     “The price of a lift ticket doesn’t seem quite as high if one can harvest a few sheep during the day,” stressed Mutton. “We can usually spot trouble early since these kind of skiers carry 22s instead of poles.”

     The authorities agree that it is people who should shoulder the responsibility of avoiding sheep. One innovative ski baron at Purgatory suggested offering the sheep limited discount passes in return for vacating heavy traffic areas and busy weekends. Most resorts have opted for feeding programs in Wyoming and Utah.

– Rex Montaleone

“Off with their heads.” – The Queen of Hearts


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