HOUSTON, Texas – Multiple feral hog sightings in Northwest Houston have people on their toes as the large, non-native wild animals have been spotted running unexpectedly through city streets and even on highways. One Northwest Houston mother caught her feral hog sighting on video.
On the streets of any city, you might expect to see a stray cat or dog but never a descendant of a Eurasian Wild Boar: a feral hog.
“My husband and the kids.... we all turned and were like, ‘Did we see right!?’” Jaynee Perez said.
Perez and her family were driving on Hwy 6 when they saw a feral eating vegetation and running the sidewalks. Perez captured on video.
“It was running fast,” she said. “And we thought it was going to run in the intersection of 529 and Highway 6.”
Perez was worried about pedestrian safety and traffic. She tried law enforcement but had no luck.
Perez said no one answered or could help.
“Who do we call? We don’t know!” she said.
Turns out, feral hogs are not managed by Harris County Animal Control or Texas Parks and Wildlife. They told KPRC 2 that’s not their area of expertise or service.
However, KPRC got in touch with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. John Tomecek is an associate professor and feral hog expert.
“These pigs are not native wildlife. They’re not from these parts of the world. They were brought here by humans,” Tomecek said.
Tomecek said the hogs ended up here after their ancestors were brought from places like Spain and other countries who came to America.
“They wreak havoc on ecosystems,” he said. “They’re a danger to human health and safety and bring really just not good things.”
Tomecek said the best thing to do if you see a feral hog is to stay away.
“They’re not pet-able, right? This is not Babe the pink cuddly pig,” Tomecek said. “These are free-roaming animals which means that they fend for themselves and they have to make a living in a very inhospitable way.”
And because of human attempts to domesticate the animal throughout history, Tomecek said, their population grows fast.
“There’s no other animal that large that reproduces so fast,” Tomecek said.
“Feral hogs are unprotected, exotic, non-game animals. Therefore, they may be taken by any means or method at any time of year. No hunting license is needed to hunt feral hogs on private property as long as landowner permission has been granted,” according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Tomecek said that there are private services that take care of the situation, but there is also a tax-payer service.
“We have our wildlife services agency. It’s a cooperative agency between the USDA and the State of Texas and that’s what people do for a living is manage this kind of damage issues,” Tomecek said.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department does not manage or regulate feral hogs. Texas A&M AgriLife provides information to landowners and the general public on feral hog control, damage, diseases, and hunting tips.
If you see a feral hog, contact Texas Wildlife Services at (979) 599-5070.