TAYLOR, Texas – Tucked away on a rural stretch of a more than century-old cemetery is a trap to catch feral hogs wandering onto the property.
“We’d like to eliminate them as easily and as quickly as we possibly can so the damage will be minimal,” said Danny Thomas, public works director for the City of Taylor.
Feral hogs have been tearing up parts of the Taylor Cemetery, and Thomas is set on changing that.
“We need to get it stopped as soon as possible and expedite the trapping of this nuisance,” said Thomas.
However, trapping one, let alone the estimated 20 to 30 feral hogs, isn’t exactly a walk in the park.
“It’s been said they’re smarter than dogs,” said Derrick Wolter, a biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife. “Your trap is not going to be the first trap they’ve encountered. A lot of research has shown it’ll take 10 days to 14 days before an adult will even trust a trap even enough to go into it.”
The damage so far is limited to undeveloped portions of the cemetery, but the concern is that if this goes unchecked, the pigs will multiply and eventually end up in a developed portion.
Stopping the hogs in their tracks is a concern for Robert Simmons, who was visiting his grandparents’, mother’s and sister’s graves on Monday.
“If we’ve got a problem with wild hogs coming in, then we need to do something to keep them from damaging any of the gravesites,” said Simmons.
Last week, the city hired a professional who built and baited a trap.
“It’s been said kind of jokingly that a feral hog has six young, and eight survive,” said Wolter.
With as many as 8 million feral hogs in Texas, it isn’t so much about stopping them, but willing them to move along.
The hog was first brought to Texas in the 16th Century as a source of food. They are now considered so prevalent and destructive people can legally hunt them year-round as long as that person has a hunting license.