COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — A citizen’s complaint led authorities to discover approximately 11 dead raccoons under a bridge in Cocke County, the sheriff said.
Around 7:15 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook about the raccoons being dumped along with other trash:
“This is absolutely ridiculous that some individuals continue to do what they do. Our community has such beauty and then you have a criminal kill these raccoons and throw them under the Bridgeport Bridge.”
The images shared by the sheriff’s office showed what appeared to be 11 raccoon carcasses lying in a paved area alongside trash. Cocke County Sheriff C.J. Ball said that in addition to the raccoons “lying on the ground deceased” at the illegal dump site, authorities also found tires, trash and appliances.
According to Ball, it was not clear what killed the raccoons as they “appeared to be eaten by another animal partially.”
“If we receive information of who’s responsible, we will contact our DA office to see what we can prosecute the individuals with,” Ball added.
By 10 a.m., the site was cleaned up, with the litter crew collecting a trailer full of trash. The racoons were also removed.
“Thanks to Ron for coming in on his day off and our litter crew to clean up the mess that was left. Trailer full of trash, appliances, tires and removed the raccoons from the area. We will be monitoring this area more often. Thanks for the citizen complaint that we received this morning and glad to get it cleaned up quickly,” the updated post stated.
If you know of illegal dumping or any other issues, you are asked to notify the sheriff’s office at 423-623-6004 or after-hours dispatch at 423-623-3064. According to officials, littering citations will be issued if authorities can prove the identity of the person(s) to whom the trash belongs.