STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- The discovery of a mass grave for roadkill in the median of the Massachusetts Turnpike has outraged officials in this picturesque community.
Town officials said they were unaware that the broad, wooded median held thousands of carcasses of animals killed along the roadway and that the site had apparently been in use for decades, until recently.
"I want to know why the Turnpike Authority would drive dead animals 50 to 100 miles to dump them in our town," said J. Cristopher Irsfield, who chairs the Board of Selectmen in Stockbridge.
At their Monday night meeting, selectmen directed their attorney to research the disposal site's legality.
Engineers hired by the Turnpike were scheduled to report to the town's Conservation Commission next week on possible damage to protected wetlands surrounding the site, described by town officials as being 300 feet long, 150 feet wide and 45 feet deep.
Turnpike spokesman Bob Bliss said Tuesday that the Stockbridge median was "the only active central depository" remaining along the road and the Pike stopped bringing dead animals there two months ago.
Since the practice ended two months ago, the Turnpike has been dragging carcasses off the road and into wooded areas on its property where they can be eaten individually by scavenger animals, Bliss said. Incineration is also being considered.
Preliminary findings show no pollution from the site.
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