U.S. cattle farms reportedly dumped thousands of cow carcasses into Kansas landfills after a heat wave caused a spike in deaths that overwhelmed traditional disposal methods.
Cattle companies delivered the carcasses to landfills following a June heat wave. The cows were then flattened with machinery and mixed in with trash, according to Reuters.
Typically, a farm will use cow carcasses to create compost or feed for other animals, but the heat wave deaths outpaced demand for such products.
State officials in Kansas say that at least 2,000 heads of cattle died due to the June heat, but other estimates have placed the number as high as 10,000.
News of the landfill burials comes as the U.S. experienced another heat wave in mid-July. Temperatures soared across the country, with the National Weather Service issuing excessive heat warnings for dozens of cities.
The heat waves have also been responsible for multiple human deaths in recent weeks, with at least 12 heat-related deaths occurring in Arizona's Maricopa County alone between July 10 and 16.
Several cities have experienced temperatures in excess of 110 degrees, and others have set records for streaks of consecutive days with temperatures over 100 degrees.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning regarding heat stroke and exhaustion in late June. The U.S. suffered at least 19 heat-caused deaths in July.
Excessive heat is expected to linger across much of the country through the July 29 weekend.