Grave problem: Feds blamed as prairie dogs invade Okla. cemetery, digging up bones


 by Seth Paxton

CIMARRON COUNTY, OK –  Federal and state leaders are sparring while a state lawmaker attempts to bring a solution to a rural cemetery in the Oklahoma panhandle, where prairie dogs have run amok.

The Rita Blanca Grassland runs adjacent to a local cemetery near Felt, Oklahoma. In recent months, prairie dogs have invaded from the grassland into the cemetery, creating sink holes and damaging property.

Human bones from grave sites dating back to the 1920’s are visible on the surface, and burrows into the earth are evident where relatives of the deceased thought their loved ones would rest peacefully. Roberta Boydston is one of those family members.

“It is very devastating to those who have family buried there. The dogs are undermining the cemetery and causing destruction that no one wants to see.”

Local cemetery officials claim that the U.S. Forest Service has neglected the job of controlling the destructive prairie dogs, and protections over another specie are preventing action being taken.

“It all comes down to [The Forest Service] wanting to introduce an animal called the black footed ferret. The ferret has never lived here and we’ve never seen any in all of our years maintaining the premises,” said Daryl McDaniel, Chairman of the Board of Bertrand Cemetery.

“Introducing and protecting an animal that has never lived here is giving us a lot of headaches. We can’t spread poison to kill the prairie dogs, and that’s our most effective way of doing so.”

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Source:  Fox News



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