VIDEO: Wild hogs inflict damage on far West Side neighborhood

Pack of feral pigs caught on camera damaging lawns in Bexar County neighborhood

A pack of 10 wild hogs rooted up several lawns in a Bexar County neighborhood over the holiday weekend.

The pigs were caught on camera damaging multiple yards as they used their snouts to forage for underground food.

The neighborhood, located about three miles south of SeaWorld, was hit a few weeks earlier, resulting in major damage to multiple yards. One of the homes that was initially hit had its yard completely uprooted.

The more recent incursion left damage to at least four properties.

Both instances included homes that were near wooded areas on the edge of the subdivision.

Damage caused by wild hogs in a far West Side neighborhood. (KSAT)

The neighborhood was built less than a decade ago, and development around the area is happening faster than the wildlife can relocate.

Wild boars are invasive pests known for causing tens of millions of dollars worth of agriculture damage across Texas each year, according to the Texas A&M Wildlife Extension. More than 2 million hogs are estimated to be in the Lone Star State.

Hogs are often referred to as opportunistic omnivores because they will eat just about anything. However, they often search underground for grubs, insects, acorns or roots, causing major damage in the process.

Billy Higginbotham, professor and extension wildlife fishery specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, previously told me that the animals not only destroy crops, pastures, parks and athletic fields, they also transmit diseases to other animals, create problems for water quality and cause crashes on highways.

Pigs were first introduced to North America in the 1500s by Spanish explorers because they were a low-maintenance source of food, but were often left behind and turned wild. Since then, feral pig populations have grown through free-range farming by settlers and Native Americans, as well as being imported and released by hunters since the 1900s.

The animals were to Texas about a century ago by hunters. Because they have no natural predators here and one of the highest reproductive rates of any large mammal in the world, their population has proliferated, growing faster than they can be killed, trapped or poisoned by humans.

As more and more development happens on the outskirts of major Texas cities like San Antonio, the hogs are moving around more often and are frequently spotted in neighborhoods.

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What to do if you encounter a wild hog

Though physical attacks by wild boars are rare, according to Texas A&M researchers, a Southeast Texas woman was killed in her front yard back a pack of pigs in 2019.

Texas Parks and Wildlife warns that any wild animal has “the potential of being dangerous, especially when wounded or cornered.” TPW said feral hogs’ speed and razor-sharp tusks can cause serious injury.

Wyatt Walton, owner of Lone Star Trapping in Central Texas, previously told KSAT’s Tiffany Huertas his company catches thousands of hogs a year, and they can become aggressive if you put them in a corner or trap them.

“When they’re trapped for the first time in their lives, they’re mad. They’re trying to come through metal cages to get us,” Walton said.

Walton said if you find yourself in front of a feral hog, treat it like a bear.

“I wouldn’t try to run at them and scare them,” Walton said. “They’ve got to fight or flight, and if you run right up and just try to scare a big boar, he’s territorial. He’s going to defend his ground.”

Clifford Porter, who lives near Culebra Road and Grissom Pass on the West Side, told Huertas in 2019 that a group of hogs destroyed his front yard.

Since then, he’s invested in technology to keep them away.

“I put up some sirens. I put up some motion detectors,” Porter said.

Porter said the community has also stepped up. The HOA has hired a trapper.

“From what I’ve seen over the last week or so, they’ve trapped about seven of them,” Porter said.

About the Author

Kolten Parker is digital executive producer at KSAT. He is an amateur triathlete, enjoys playing and watching soccer, traveling and hanging out with his wife.

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