A 59-year-old woman was attacked and killed outside a home in a small Texas town by several wild pigs, a county sheriff confirmed.
The woman, who was a caregiver for an elderly couple, was found dead outside her client’s home in the town of Anahuac, near Houston, with multiple bites and tusk punctures to her legs that destroyed several arteries.
According to Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne, a pathologist ruled the cause of death as exsanguination due to a feral hog attack. In other words, she bled to death.
“We were trying to determine if she may have collapsed from a medical condition and then some animal had gotten to her remains when she was lying there, or whether or not the animals were involved from an attacking perspective,” he explained.
There is no question, he says, that she was alive at the time of the assault.
Deaths attributed to wild pigs are rare in North America, with approximately five documented cases to date in the U.S.
However, wildlife biologist Keith Munro with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters says in other parts of the world it’s not unusual for humans to be assaulted by wild pigs.
“There is a history of attacks on people especially in areas where wild boar are native such as Europe,” he explained.
“They do occur and they are definitely a risk.”
A University of Nebraska-Lincoln study of 412 wild pig attacks on humans found that most of the attacks appeared to be unprovoked and took place in non-hunting situations.
The majority of the human victims were on foot and travelling alone. The injuries sustained were primarily lacerations and punctures, while fatalities were typically due to blood loss.
“I think it really highlights the potential for risk,” Munro said.
“It’s really one of the reasons why we need to ensure these animals aren’t allowed to stay on the landscape and don’t become established on the landscape.”
The OFAH is advocating for the eradication of wild pigs, and for the MNRF to disclose wild pig escapes and sightings to the public.
If you spot a wild pig in Ontario, the MNRF asks you to report your sighting using the iNaturalist app or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.