Relatives with loved ones in a Dallas cemetery complain wild hogs are still damaging graves despite more than a year of efforts to contain the hogs.
Lincoln Memorial Cemetery is on Murdock Road near Interstate 20 in far Southeast Dallas along the Trinity River.
NBC 5 first heard complaints from relatives about hog damage in April 2021.
Earline Caldwell said the graves of her three sons who died within months a few years ago have new damage that she first noticedthis past April.
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“It’s very heartbreaking, my sons. It’s hard for me to talk about them. It’s even harder for me to go out to the cemetery and see them in a place I thought would be comfortable,” she said.
In April 2021, volunteers with the nonprofit group “Hogs for A Cause Texas” set up traps at the cemetery.
A month later, they had caught a dozen hogs. The meat was donated to veterans.
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But their traps and camera equipment were stolen twice.
Chris Matthews with the group said the cemetery agreed to reimburse the cost of lost equipment but losses became too great for volunteers to continue the effort.
Matthews said another problem at Lincoln Memorial is the lack of fences to keep hogs from wandering up from the Trinity River.
Dallas City Councilman Tennell Atkins who represents the neighborhood visited the cemetery Friday.
“I do see the holes and it looks like hogs have been doing that. We do know there is an issue here but we’re going to try to resolve the issue,” Atkins said. “I don't want to play the blame game. We know it doesn't have a fence. We know it's by the Trinity River. But, the point is, we've got to put closure to this.”
A cemetery manager who declined to give his name and declined to be interviewed said a new trapper is working for the cemetery. The manager said a large new corral trap that is operating there captured a dozen hogs Thursday night.
The trap was baited with feed corn Friday and ready to catch more hogs Friday night.
Earline Caldwell said her latest photo of damage near her sons’ graves received extensive support on social media from other families with damaged graves of loved ones.
She said the Lincoln Memorial Cemetery is not doing enough to solve the hog problem while continuing to accept new burials.
“We’re tired of seeing this here. How many times must we go out there and see our family graves like somebody trying to dig them up,” Caldwell said. “If I had known Lincoln was not going to take care of the cemetery, I would never put my sons out there.”
The cemetery is private property, but Atkins said he will work to see what resources may be available to help solve the problem.
“There could be many excuses. The family of loved ones don't worry about excuses. They want to problem resolved,” Atkins said.
Texas A&M’s Agrilife Extension estimates there are more than 2.5 million feral hogs in the state, more than any other state, causing at least $52 million in damage a year to agricultural property. Other estimates say there may be twice as many wild hogs in Texas.