Feral pigs found in Ruidoso Downs
Posted at: 09/26/2012 6:42 PM
| Updated at: 09/26/2012 6:55 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Several feral pigs, or wild hogs, have been spotted in a Ruidoso Downs neighborhood.
“You don’t generally see them in residential areas, and they’re not indigenous to this area,” Ruidoso Downs Animal Control officer Charles Massey said. “They’re a wild animal. A domesticated pig will go wild in six weeks… that’s when it starts to grow its tusks and gets real wiry hair… and they do go feral.”
Neighbors called control officials after spotting large, dark-colored pigs. One woman reported that the pigs attacked her small dogs, and posted signs around her neighborhood warning others to be careful for their own pets and kids.
Animal control officials said they can be dangerous since they can knock over small animals or children, and can be aggressive if approached.
“Just be cautious if you’re out at night because they are night feeders,” Massey said. “If you do stumble on one, just stop and walk backward.”
To solve the problem, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, New Mexico Game and Fish Department, and city officials have worked together to set up a pig trap. For now, the trap lures in pigs and takes photos, as officials try to get a better idea of how many are in the area. Eventually, they will set up the trap to actually catch the pig.
“We have gotten a lot of great support and help from the state,” Massey said. “We’ve especially had help from Brian Archuleta and Mark Walters with USDA Aphis Wildlife Services and Logan Vanlandingham from New Mexico Game and Fish.”
Officials also ask Ruidoso Downs residents to make sure they secure their trash, food and anything else with a strong smell as that is generally what will attract the feral pigs.