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Authorities in Coos County, Oregon, are investigating just how a 69-year-old farmer ended up being eaten by his own monster hogs.

The remains of Vietnam vet Terry Vance Garner were discovered at his farm outside Bandon "several hours after he went to feed his animals". A family member first spotted the farmer's dentures on the ground, then "noticed pieces of Garner’s body scattered throughout the enclosure".

The cause of his death is a mystery. Investigators are certain the hogs ate "most" of their owner, but further tests are required to determine whether he died of natural causes or was killed by his own beasts.

Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier said: "For all we know, it was a horrific accident, but it’s so doggone weird that we have to look at all possibilities."

Some of Garner’s hogs weigh in at 700lb - which is "abnormally large" according to John Killefer, head honcho at the Animal and Rangeland Sciences Department at Oregon State University.

Killefer noted that while domestic pigs aren't generally as obstreperous as their feral cousins, "there is some degree of danger associated with any animal".

A sow bit Garner last year when he accidentally stepped on one of her piglets. His brother, Michael Garner, said: “He said he was going to kill it, but when I asked him about it later, he said he had changed his mind."

A forensic anthropologist at the University of Oregon, who was called in following Garner's death last Wednesday, will try to work out why this tragedy happened. There's more from the Register-Guard here. ®

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