The Hike and Bike Trail is one reason Lake Wichita Park is popular. Unfortunately, city parks officials say its also getting popular with feral hogs.
These two wild hogs caught overnight are just two of dozens that have been trapped in the last few months around Lake Wichita. City parks officials say they started getting reports of them about eight months ago.
"Then, the reports started coming pretty heavy. We'd come out here and we'd never really see them. Then, as time went on, they started multiplying then we started seeing them," says Terry Points, parks superintendent for the City of Wichita Falls.
And so did park visitors, like Guy Smith.
"As many as I've seen is about 10 to 12 at various sizes. I've seen the mama and papa and a bunch of the small piglets or whatever they call them," Smith says.
From piglets to boars weighing around 250 pounds, parks officials say they are posing a threat to humans.
"Anything wild doesn't want to be messed with and they have tusks. The trapper said some of them will have tusks up to 6 inches long," Points says.
And when threatened they will attack. Not only are wild hogs dangerous, they're also extremely destructive. As they root for food they uproot plants and disturb soil which can lead to erosion.
So city parks officials contracted with two local trappers who agreed to remove them alive but they eventually end up on the dinner table. And while trapping won't solve the problem officials say it will help.
"I don't think we'll ever eradicate them completely, but we're gonna try to limit the population to where it's safe for the public," Points says.
Since trapping started two months ago at Lake Wichita Park, parks officials say 44 wild hogs have been caught with 14 trapped just this week. And officials say trapping could continue for a while since wild hogs are prolific with sows having up to a dozen piglets per litter, up to three times a year.
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