Groundhogs Caught Stealing American Flags At Cedar Park Cemetery (VIDEO)

Groundhogs already own Feb. 2, but that didn't stop a group of them in Hudson, N.Y., from trying to take over July 4 as well.

For the last two years, American flags set on the graves of Civil War soldiers at Cedar Park Cemetery in honor of Independence Day have been mysteriously disappearing.

Last year, many of the flags were on the graves of Jewish soldiers and, this year, the missing flags were set on the graves of black soldiers, according to, which angered cemetery caretaker Vincent Wallace.

"I just can't comprehend the mindset that would allow someone to do this," said Wallace, who served in the U.S. Army National Guard for 43 years, to the website.

But after the third incident in a week, law officers set up surveillance cameras in hopes of flagging down the flag-napping culprits.

Turns out it's not a person at all-- but a groundhog, according to WRGB-TV.

"When the police responded and opened up the surveillance cameras, we were startled to find that a woodchuck was sitting there at the base of the gravestone with an empty flag pole in front of him," Wallace told the station.

Hudson Mayor Bill Hallenbeck was happy to discover that the culprits weren't human.

“I’m glad we don’t have someone who has taken it upon themselves to desecrate the stones and the flags in front of them,” he told the Register-Star newspaper.

Apparently, the flags had wooden poles that attracted the groundhogs -- which are also known as woodchucks -- and the city will take steps to have flags with non-wooden stems be placed on graves in the future.

Groundhog expert Bob Will, who for decades has adopted sick, injured and unwanted groundhogs and who advocates on behalf of the oft-maligned rodent, hopes that the animals don't get destroyed because of their actions and are instead relocated.

"They really are an animal that doesn’t do anything bad, and they shouldn’t be destroyed just for the lark of it," Will told the Los Angeles Times.



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