Video: A Pack Of Wild Pigs Is Wreaking Havoc In Riverside
A pack of "20 to 30" wild boars were caught on video hanging out in Riverside's Fairmount Park earlier this week, leaving a wake of destruction in their path, a la Sherman's March to the Sea.
According to KTLA, "thousands" of these pigs are estimated to live in the Santa Ana River bottoms around the area, and emerge at nightfall in search of food, when they are less likely to be hunted.
One Fox 11 reporter ominously stared into the camera as she delivered the news: "The was a pack. A PACK of pigs here last night...whether you want to call them wild boars, or hogs, or feral pigs, whatever they were" came to Fairmount Park, trampled the grass, and ripped up turf while sniffing around for some grub. According to Fox, this is not the first time a pack of feral pigs have disrespected thoughtful landscaping—they've also been seen vandalizing residential property, too.
Lest you think the boars and their cute lil piglets are harmless, think again! They can be quite vicious. As KTLA put it:
Experts say wild pigs will usually try to avoid humans, but they can be aggressive and unsafe if cornered, or if you approach their piglets. But the feral hogs do have an appetite for destruction and have caused millions of dollars in damage to area property and parks.
It's become such a problem that Riverside County Animal Services considers the hog presence a "hazard and a nuisance," and are encouraging people to hunt the pigs with actual bows and arrows. This is getting way too American Horror Story: Roanake.
However, as KCET wrote in their history of the wild boar in California a couple of years ago, these pigs are considered an "invasive species," having descended in part from actual European wild hogs who were brought over as early as the Mission days, before being released into the wild between the 1920s and 1950s.
So what are they actually doing that's so destructive, other than making your lawn look like crap? Well, kind of a lot! As KCET notes:
They regularly feed by rooting around in the soil for roots, bulbs, and insects; when a group of them -- a "sounder" -- descends on a valley grassland, what they leave behind them can look as though it's been thoroughly rototilled. That is, if a rototiller also ate all the snakes, lizards, baby birds, and other small animals as it churned the soil. And if a rototiller gave birth to half a dozen baby rototillers every year.
Pigs also hog all the acorns from other species, eat farmers' crops, contribute to erosion (which adds to fire hazards!), and clog up streams and other water sources with their Giardia-infected poop.
Sooo, yeah! Maybe not so charming after all.