UVALDE, Texas – Animal carcasses were tied down in the Nueces River and then hung from a bridge in separate instances earlier this week in a swimming area off County Road 414 in Uvalde County. Authorities are investigating the case as illegal dumping.
An armadillo, porcupine and possum carcass were found floating in the water, tied to rocks on Monday, according to a woman who is camping in the area on private land.
The woman, who spoke to KSAT on the condition of anonymity because she didn’t want to become the target of online harassment, said the animal carcasses were tied to rocks to anchor them in place and despite someone pulling them out of the water and onto the bank, the carcasses were back in the water Tuesday.
“I called the game warden and reported it. He came out and looked at it but did not remove the animals,” she said.
The three animal carcasses were again removed from the water on Tuesday but the woman said she was unsure who removed them.
On Wednesday morning, the carcass of a hog and a porcupine were found hanging from the bridge, over the water. “I called the game warden back and he said there really wasn’t anything he could do,” the woman said. “He said I could contact the county commissioner.”
KSAT reached out Henry Lutz, a Texas Game Warden in Uvalde County who took the woman’s report. Lutz confirmed the animals had been hanging off the bridge.
“For whatever reason, somebody decided they wanted to throw a couple of dead animals hanging there,” Lutz said.
When asked if it’s against the law, Lutz said, “it would be like illegal dumping. Just because they’re an animal doesn’t make it any different than a lot of other things.” Illegal dumping in Texas is a misdemeanor unless the weight exceeds 1,000 pounds.
Lutz said a lot of people are “trying to make more out of it than it really is.”
The woman said many people who were in the area and saw the carcasses were concerned about animal cruelty but Lutz explained that this particular situation doesn’t qualify.
“You can’t be cruel to something that’s not alive,” said Lutz. “I don’t know how you would hang a live animal up there.”
KSAT reached out to the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office and a deputy at the office said he wasn’t authorized to speak to media.
When asked whose responsibility it is to remove the carcasses, which have been since taken down, Lutz said it depends on who can get out there to do it. “It’s not something we normally do as a course of business. We don’t go around picking up dead animals off the side of the highway,” he said.
The woman told KSAT she thinks “some landowners eventually went out there and took it down.”
“I understand that landowners get tired of all the trash people leave around the crossings. I do, too. I pick up trash when I go. But animal cruelty and endangering the health of the public is not OK,” the woman said.
“I understand it’s an unusual situation but all it is, is an illegal dumping of a carcass,” Lutz said.
The case is still open and there are now extra patrols in the area, he said.
Editor’s note: The photo below, which has not been edited to blur the carcasses as the image at the top of the article was, may be disturbing to some viewers.