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Animals attack pigs near campus

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By Cindy Simpson

Several pigs were killed last month in what is believed to be two animal attacks at a small farm next to the walking trail at Roane State Community College’s main campus in Roane County.

“We had a call from Roane State because some of the workers drove by there and saw some of the dead pigs,” said Josh Strickland, animal control officer at the Roane County Animal Shelter.

Later, E911 dispatch called animal control because Frank Burgess’ horses were out in a nearby church parking lot.

“They kicked the cattle gate to get out,” Strickland said of the horses.
When animal control authorities arrived, they discovered more dead pigs from the same farm.

Strickland said it appears to be a wild animal, which he thought it was perhaps a pack of coyotes.

Others, however have different thoughts on what kind of animal might be on the attack.

“TWRA says it was most likely a bear,” stated an email from Danny Gibbs, Roane State vice president for business and finance. The email was sent to alert students, staff and faculty about the attacks.

“Please be advised that some type of wild animal appears to have attacked and killed farm animals on the property that adjoins our campus near the walking trail,” he wrote.

There’s a third school of thought: while mountain lions are not supposed to be in the region anymore, Strickland said a woman in the Caney Creek area sent in a picture of an animal that looks like it may be one.