LAFOLLETE, Tenn. (WATE) — Wild hogs are rooting around at one Campbell County cemetery.
The animals have been tearing up the grounds at Baird Cemetery recently.
Officers with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said they’re aware of the situation and they’re working on ways to help. TWRA often assists with hog control efforts when possible, but with the cemetery situation, there’s a problem: Talking to the cemetery owner.
TWRA said they’re having trouble finding the person who owns the cemetery in order to get permission to trap the feral hogs.
TWRA lists wild hogs as a “destructive species” to be controlled by methods other than sport hunting; in fact, TWRA says in 2011, new regulations were enacted that changed wild hog management — wild hogs are no longer considered big game animals in Tennessee.
But, there exist some specific control methods for wild hogs that are authorized by TWRA. It’s also illegal to possess, transport or release live wild hogs.
In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, wild hogs also frequent the area, but they’re not native species.
“Rooting and wallowing wild hogs (Sus scrofa) threaten natural ecological communities. The hogs will eat just about anything, including red-cheeked salamanders (Plethodon jordani), which are found only in the park, and the roots and foliage of wildflowers that often take years to mature and bloom.”GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK, NON-NATIVE SPECIES INFORMATIONAL PAGE
According to National Park Service officials, there’s currently a national effort to eradicate wild hogs, due to their destructive and disease-carrying nature that could also affect other wildlife and domestic livestock.