I imagine that the tire might have held water and that this unlucky bovine was able to enjoy it for a short time before his untimely death at whatever hands. The carcass was completely empty, yet the stench of death lingered. Fortunately I was able to stand upwind to photograph the scene.
Over the past year I've come to enjoy this strip of land, despite its having been ravaged by cattle and unethical wood cutters. It's obvious from aerial imagery, the difference between this exhausted land and the protected area within monument boundaries.
The lack of vegetation provides vista views and open off-trail hiking, but the large scale sacrifice of things like oxygen, food, and habitat is hard to reconcile with bare juniper stumps, spent bullet shells, clay pigeons, and beer bottles. Still, the flora and fauna there are worth a reverent look, even if it does mean staring into the eyes of human ignorance and irresponsibility for a while.