Frank Burgess only raises a few animals for pleasure on his small farm, but now more than half of them are gone.
"It was a massacre, an awful sight," said Burgess.
He got a call he never wanted to get from his neighbors at Roane State Community College in Harriman. His farm is adjacent to the school's property.
"Somebody walking along the track had noticed several of the pigs were dead and they called me and when I came over here sure enough four of them were dead," he said, "They actually looked like they had been hit with a machete or something just odd looking."
"I thought maybe it was a coyote."
He patched up the hole in the fence where he thinks the creature got in, but only days later he found a similar sight.
"I came back up here to feed the pigs and sure enough my other three pigs were dead and killed the same way. All of them with the backs of their necks torn up," he said.
Burgess told other farmers in the area the story. They mentioned the idea that a bear or mountain lion might have caused the slaughter.
"I thought, 'Well that's ridiculous.' I dismissed it," Burgess said.
But a week later, he found some big paw prints nearby that looked like they came from a cat. And now he's says they may be right.
"Is there a mountain lion there? I don't know. I have no idea but I do know that every one of my pigs look like their necks had been broke," he said.
Burgess called the animal control office in Roane County and they didn't have any answers for him.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said it is highly unlikely it was a mountain lion that caused the destruction. They say eastern mountain lions haven't been seen in East Tennessee in decades.
TWRA says it was most likely a bear.