Prairie dogs take over Oklahoma cemetery, bringing remains to the surface

Photo courtesy of FOX News.

Prairie dogs have taken over a cemetery in the Oklahoma panhandle bringing up bones from grave sites dating to the 1920s. FOX News reports the Bertrand Cemetery in Felt, Oklahoma sits next to the Rita Blanca Grassland. The cemetery has recently been taken over by prairie dogs from the grassland. This take-over has caused sink holes and has left damage to graves. Residents report seeing human bones visible on the surface of the cemetery. Cemetery officials tell FOX News that the U.S. Forest Service has not done their job in controlling the prairie dogs. Daryl McDaniel, Chairman of the Board of the Bertrand Cemetery tells FOX News that protections over the black footed ferret have prevented the efforts. "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." McDaniel said to FOX News.Marta Call, Public Affairs Officer with the Forest Service, tells FOX News that poison is not an option. "We cannot utilize poison to control the populations based on wildlife protections," she said. "We have to look at other means of controlling the prairie dogs and keeping them out of the cemetery, because we truly are sympathetic to the issue at hand."The problem has caught the attention of Oklahoma State Rep. Casey Murdock. Murdock tells FOX News he has been in contact with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, cemetery officials and Gov. Mary Fallin on the issue, but says bringing all sides to the table is imperative in getting anything accomplished.
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