BRADENTON -- Someone has dumped perhaps as many as 30 pig carcasses in Wares Creek, attracting a horde of hungry vultures feeding on the remains.
Numerous Wares Creek neighborhood residents have complained to the city about the dumping. One resident recently used his kayak to tow a pig carcass out to sea after it had lodged beneath his dock.
It wasn’t clear who the culprit or culprits might be, where the pigs had come from, or how many carcasses there were, officials said. A Bradenton work crew fished pig feet and backbones from under the Eighth Avenue Bridge on Wednesday afternoon.
Most of the meat had been scavenged off the bones, City Council member Patrick Roff said during a council meeting Wednesday.
Theorizing that perhaps hunters had been shooting wild boars elsewhere, and then butchering them in Bradenton, Roff called the practice “unsanitary, unsightly and certainly not civilized.”
He noted that vultures do eat parts of pigs but not all of them. Roff said there had been at least six carcasses.
Glenn Wood, who is managing a dredging project in the creek for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, later estimated that he had seen as many as 30 or so carcasses, along with their gory accompaniment -- scores of vultures.
Some of the birds remained late Wednesday atop a vacant house near the Eight Avenue Bridge, sunning themselves as city employees Bill Malfese and Maynes Harris retrieved pig bones from the creekbed.
“As a hunter, I’m trying to figure out why I’d (someone would) kill a hog, and bring it to downtown Bradenton,” said City Council member Bemis Smith.
During the council meeting, when Roff asked City Attorney Bill Lisch whether the situation amounted to illegal dumping, Lisch replied, “Do we need to start a pig patrol?”
The council asked Lisch to research if any existing laws, such as those prohibiting water pollution, might apply.
Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski said after the meeting his department had contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and asked what to do.
“They said, ‘Nothing,’ ” Radzilowski said.
The chief did not plan to take any officers off their beats to search for pig perps, but added, “We’ll be on the lookout” for suspicious activity.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031.