HAMER, Idaho (KLIX)-State wildlife officials say a herd of pronghorn were hit and killed by a train Monday morning north of Idaho Falls.

A total of 64 of the animals died when they were hit by the train near the small community of Hamer, 45 of the animals were killed instantly while another 19 had to be euthanized later, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Officers and staff with the department went to the area to salvage any usable meat which will be donated to area needy families and food banks. Officials say the weather played a part in the accident.

"We have had these sad situations happen before during big snow events,” said Curtis Hendricks Wildlife Manager for the region in a prepared statement. “These pronghorn are unable to cross the freeway fence as they migrate west and unfortunately they ended up on the tracks where the snow isn’t as deep.”

Officials say the animals often gather on the plowed railroad tracks that run parallel with nearby Interstate 15.

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