INDIANOLA, Okla. – Wild hogs are a menace for farmers across Oklahoma, but now they’re causing a new issue.
The feral hogs are plowing through a cemetery in the Southeast part of the state, destroying grave sites, leaving families upset.
Almost the entire east side of Indianola Cemetery has been rooted up by wild hogs.
Families with loved ones buried at the cemetery say they’re heartbroken.
“It’s disappointing to see your family headstones and area all rooted up and it’s going to be a chore to straighten this up,” David Choate told KFOR.
Choate lost his son in 2004. He came back to visit his grave and found it torn up by hogs. “I was thankful the headstone hadn’t been moved, just the area around it,” said Choate.
A cemetery worker says this has been an ongoing problem since summer, and locals say a 400 lb hog was shot and killed near the cemetery this past October.
“We’ve never had it until this year,” said Jeb Hollingshead. “And it is literally an epidemic.”
Choate says it’s too hard for him to come out and keep repairing his sons grave.
“Unless you’ve got heavy equipment to come out here and drag this all down flat and everything, it’s a chore,” said Choate.
Officials say the landowners or the town would have to get a permit to hunt the wild hogs.
Hollingshead believes even killing them wouldn’t stop them. “They can hunt them, trap them, poison them, they will not exterminate them,” said Hollingshead. “They will not get rid of them. The best we can do is deal with it.”
Choate and Hollingshead hope the town comes up with a solution before more damage at the cemetery is done.
“We need to come up with a solution,” said Hollingshead. “Any ideas that any of the public would have is all welcome because we’ve got to have something.”
“It’s going to be a continuous chore until the hogs are eradicated,” said Choate.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife says trapping the hogs is also an effective method to capture wild hogs.