NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A hiker made a gruesome discovery just off the Greenway trail in Hermitage when he found several livestock carcasses on a future park site.
"I’ve seen this like 20 times, it says future home of a park," said Phillip Rader. "I wanted to check it out and see what this future park would be like."
Rader walked along a gravel road with his Great Dane until he found several ramshackle sheds and an old home. The structures were all crumbling, but Rader wanted to take a closer look.
"It seemed like it was straight out of a horror film," he said. "It was quite disturbing."
Rader found several livestock carcasses rotting on the property, along with several skulls, some of which belonged to a horse.
Just yards away, he noticed more livestock and became worried for their safety.
"There was a fence, but it was open, so I was just concerned about the cattle that are living now," Rader said.
According to the Metro Public Health Department, the discovery is the result of a disease.
"In November, the owner noticed a problem with the cattle," said spokeswoman Rebecca Morris. "He did the right thing and separated the animals."
Morris said the owner called in several veterinarians and even sent one deceased animal to the state lab for testing.
The results showed the cattle were suffering from White Oak Acorn Toxicity, which becomes a problem when livestock ingest too many acorns or acorn buds. That can cause gastrointestinal and kidney issues.
Morris said the owner was working with the city to bury the carcasses.
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