HOUSTON – Robert "Cajun Bob" Thornberry of Brazoria County has been trapping and hunting wild hogs for five decades. When he heard of the tragedy in Chambers County on Monday, initially he felt regret.
"First thought that went through my mind was prayers for the family and God bless that gal," he says.
But then Thornberry says the sadness quickly turned to surprise.
"It's very uncommon," he says.
"Cajun Bob" says he's trapped several thousand hogs during his more than 40 years of work and only heard of attacks on people two or three times. He says feral hogs -- like most wild animals -- attack to protect their young, out of natural fear, or a lack of fear brought on by familiarity.
"Most of the time, the only time you're going to get attacked is when you walk up on a big sow with a bunch of babies," he says. "Or a big ol' boar that's running by himself and just ain't scared of nobody anymore."
Thornberry says Christine Rollins likely had very little time to react to the pack of hogs that killed her this morning -- the time of day most hogs like to feed. Advice for those who live in areas frequented by wild hogs?
"Get up a tree," Thornberry advises. "If you go out at night have a pistol on you, have a dog with you. Something that gives you that extra few seconds to get away. That's about it."
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department estimates there are more than 1.5 million feral hogs in the state. Overpopulation has occurred because of several factors including improved habitats and high reproductive rates.