Woman killed by feral pigs in 'tragic, rare incident'

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Pig numbers are huge proplem in Texas and with these huge numbers comes unforseen incidents. 

A 59-year-old Texan woman has died after being mauled by feral hogs, in what the county sheriff described as “one of the worst cases I’ve ever seen”.

Christine Marie Rollins, 59, a healthcare worker, arrived to look after an 84-year-old patient who she had been caring for almost two years when she was attacked in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said he would not go into the details of the incident but said he was disturbed by the attack. In a

statement, he said: “This is an unbelievably tragic, a very rare incident. In my 35 years I will tell you it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.”

Hawthorne said that bites and bruises of varying sizes made it clear that multiple animals were involved in the attack. He said the pigs had taken over some of the pasture and woods of the family land.

The issue of feral hogs in the US has been bubbling under the surface for some time.

Hawthorne, the police sheriff, said there have been six deaths by feral hogs reported in US history. A University of Nebraska paper from 2013 put the total number of wild hog killings in US history at four.

Rollins died outside a home in Anahuac, near Houston, with multiple injuries to her body. An autopsy said she had died from exsanguination – bleeding to death – due to feral hog assault. Hawthorne said officials had immediately believed the cause of death to be an animal attack, but “it was not something we could even come close to announcing until we had the [official] cause of death”.

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are about 5 million feral hogs in the US, half of which are in Texas. They cause billions in damage every year, destroying local wildlife and native habitats, and disturbing locals. However, the USDA does not recommend shooting as a method to control groups of the pigs, which can weigh between 100 and 400lb.

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