City goes hog wild trapping wild pigs
Authorities act as feral hogs infiltrate neighborhoods.
With corn-baited traps, Arlington animal control officers have captured nearly three dozen feral hogs and sent those not-so-little piggies off to market before they could cause problems in River Legacy Parks and surrounding neighborhoods.
The city situated between Dallas and Fort Worth began setting traps after the hogs started traveling away from the Trinity River area and south into nearby neighborhoods in search of acorns and other food, said Ray Rentschler, Animal Services field supervisor. Motorists have also struck and killed at least two hogs, including one weighing 254 pounds, he said.
“Everybody is nervous about a 200-pound hog roaming the neighborhood,” Rentschler said.
Since October, city crews have captured 34 feral hogs. The animals are loaded into a trailer and taken to a Fort Worth meat processing plant, where the city received between $10 to $100 for each hog. Those proceeds, about $900 so far, are being reinvested in new traps to keep the feral hog population in check and away from homes and park trails, Rentschler said.
“The hogs are going to run from people, but we want people to feel comfortable in our parks,” Rentschler said.
On Wednesday, the city trapped a 160-pound boar that had been regularly sighted eating acorns.
Previously, Arlington Animal Services was euthanizing the hogs itself, which was costing taxpayers between $100 and $120 per animal, and then burying the carcasses in the city landfill, he said. In 2010, 34 hogs were trapped and euthanized, but the city didn’t set any traps in 2011 because very few hogs were sighted.
Wild pig populations can rise quickly. A sow has about 5 to 6 piglets per litter on average and can have more than one litter a year, according to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
According to one report, Texas would need to eradicate 66 percent of its feral hog population annually to keep the population under control.