When pigs attack: Tragic story of farmer consumed by livestock

70-year-old Oregon farmer eaten by his hogs

On Wednesday morning, Terry V. Garner, a 70-year-old Oregon farmer, went to feed his animals. Several hours later, when he hadn’t returned, a family member went to look for him and found, on the ground of the hog enclosure, his dentures.

Further investigation of the enclosure revealed that the hogs, which each weighed about 700 pounds, had nearly completely eaten the farmer, although some body parts were strewn about the enclosure.

Now the Coos County Sheriff’s Office is investigating how Garner “ended up in a position where the hogs were able to consume him.” According to the Sheriff’s statement:

There are several scenarios being investigated, including that Mr. Garner had a health event, such as a heart attack, which then put him in a position where the hogs could consume him. Another scenario being investigated is that given the age and health of Mr. Garner, that one or more of the hogs knocked Mr. Garner to the ground, whereupon that hogs killed and consumed him.

The article notes that one of the pigs was known to be aggressive. There is another documented case mentioned of a woman who was attacked by pigs. I’d also point out that an older person can easily lose footing in such a situation, surrounded by captive, and grumpy animals, and suddenly be in a vulnerable position.

Should we be afraid of pigs? Not really, but many domestic animals can be aggressive and be a danger to humans. Also, note that wild boars are dangerous so the aggressiveness is genetic.

  4 comments for “When pigs attack: Tragic story of farmer consumed by livestock

  1. October 2, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Let me say that these were not “pigs,” but “hogs,” and while the specific definition may not be clear, hogs are large grown animals, typically several hundred pounds and known to be as large as 1500 pounds. Even if friendly, their sheer mass makes them dangerous. On top of this, many hogs are very mean (you would be too, if you were kept in the condition that most of the animals are kept). My grandfather had a few hogs, and he was very clear to me to stay away from them, as they would eat just about anything.

  2. Paul Hunter
    October 2, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    My dad always said the most dangerous farm animal is a sow with piglets. When I was six I jumped in the pin with a sow to move the water trough over. The 600 pound mother turned, looked me directly in the eye, and snorted not to come any closer to her piglets. I never got into that situation again.

  3. October 2, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Here is a piece on Slate. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/explainer/2012/10/when_pigs_attack_do_livestock_intentionally_kill_people_.html

    “Cattle kill approximately 22 Americans per year nationwide, and the animals deliberately attack their victims in 75 percent of those cases, according to a 2009 study.”

  4. Alan Murray
    October 2, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    No doubt in my mind this story is true. Pigs and Hogs have been well documented eating human remains.Almost the perfect cover-up for a crime.Why the doubt with this story. Interesting
    it is, doubtful, not.

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