Traps set at damaged Alton Cemetery

Photo by John Badman

ALTON — Traps have been set at Alton City Cemetery where groundhogs have unearthed bones from century-old graves.

At least five groundhog traps were placed in the cemetery near places where burrow dirt and other unearthed bones could be seen on Thursday. Near the traps appeared to be a bone from the arm of the humerus, as well as what appeared to be a human shoulder blade and a clavical bone from a shoulder.

Other bones could be seen outside the holes where the groundhogs apparently buried themselves in a void left by a decaying wooden coffin. In doing so, the animals also dug up what appears to be part of a coffin handle.

In late June, cemetery officials were notified by a resident that a bone could be seen in the dirt removed by a groundhog. A Belleville pest control company was contacted by the cemetery to remove the animals.

Groundhogs dig under graves dating as far back as the Civil War, about 25 yards from where newspaper martyr Elijah P. Lovejoy is buried.


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