Nearly 20 dead deer were dumped at the end of a dead-end road in Rockdale County in an “apparent error,” a Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Dead animals should be taken to city or county landfills, not wells, open pits, surface water, private land or public land, according to the Department of Agriculture.
In a statement, GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale said a contracted maintenance crew working on behalf of the agency made the error.
While it was not immediately clear how long the practice had been going on, “we are taking immediate steps to remove and properly dispose of all animal carcasses from this location,” she said.
GDOT and contractors started removing the deer from Dogwood Drive in Conyers early Tuesday afternoon.
Dale said GDOT will work to ensure its contractors adhere to proper disposal methods set by the agriculture department.
“We apologize to local residents for any inconvenience that has occurred,” Dale said.
GDOT issued the apology after Sameerah Smith told Channel 2 Action News she got lost Sunday on her way home from church and stumbled upon the rotting carcasses on a dead-end road.
“What I thought I was stepping on were rocks, were actually bones,” she said. “Deer bones.”
Some of the deer died long ago and others more recently, Channel 2 reported.
“It was a very gruesome scene,” Smith said. “Very disheartening and inhumane.”