Charlotte County resident finds dead hogs along popular hiking trail

Posted at 7:22 PM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 06:40:50-04

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. -- A Charlotte County resident wants answers after finding dozens of dead hogs along a popular hiking trail at Tippecanoe Environmental Park.

County officials tell Fox 4 if the hogs along the trail were shot and killed, it's illegal hunting. However, the county currently has a contract with a USDA trapper to contain the hog population. 

A few weeks ago, Charlotte county resident Charlie Mooney said he stumbled upon something pretty gruesome while hiking at Tippecanoe park. He said not far down one of the trails, there were dozens of dead hogs that appeared to have been shot. Mooney said he contacted the county and had some concerns but never received any response. However, two days later he went out on the trail and found a sign that closed off the trail to the public. 

“That wasn’t there when I first noticed the hogs and then when I posted on Facebook I don’t know if someone caught wind of it but it says area closed to public,” said Mooney. 

The Charlotte County Parks Department said the sign was recently put up closing off one of the trails because of a pair of nesting Bald Eagles. The Department also confirmed through a co-op with the USDA they are shooting the hogs to control overpopulation. 

But a county spokesperson reached out to Fox 4 and said if there are hogs that were shot and left on county property, it would have to be illegal hunters, not the USDA trapper. The USDA trapper is required to euthanize a hog and dispose of it in a remote area away from any trails. 

Mooney said he's still disturbed by what he saw.  "They can’t do this it’s inhumane, they’re just shooting them," said Mooney. 

You can learn more about wild hogs by: CLICKING HERE

A Charlotte County spokesperson asks anyone who sees a dead hog on or near a trial to contact the Natural Resources Division at 941-613-3220 or email at: NaturalResources@CharlotteCountyFL.Gov