Dr. Jack Mayer has been studying wild hogs since the 1970s and his research may shed light on our would-be attacker..
The researcher with the Savannah River National Laboratory recently presented a paper on hog attacks from around the world and the findings are fascinating.
The study documented 412 wild hog ticks worldwide impacting 665 people. During this time there were four fatal hog attacks in the United States, with the most recent in Texas in 1996.
Of the 21 states reporting hog attacks Texas led the pack with 24 percent with Florida at 12 percent and South Carolin 10. Interestingly when examining worldwide shark fatalities hogs beat them out as recently as 2013.
Obviously if hogs were bloodthirsty animals, bent on destroying humanity there would be many fatal attacks in Texas and that is just not the case but what is interesting is the profile of hogs that have attacked humans.
In his study, hogs that attack are described as solitary (82 percent), large (87 percent) and male (81 percent) and most attacks occurred when there was no hunting involved.
This describes a lone, mature boar, likely territorial that is powerful and much faster than a person can imagine. It is a different hog than the young boar that comes in with a bunch of other hogs to deer feeder or the sow defending her young. She may be aggressive in defense but Mayer’s findings show many of these hog attacks have the pig actually eating or attempting to eat the people.
There are numerous accounts of hunters (usually hunting hogs with dogs) getting hooked by a boar.
While bowhunting for hogs in South Texas many years ago, I met a man with 83 stitches on his left leg due to a hog getting hold of him in a cactus thicket while running it with dogs a few years previous. I have since lost track of the man, but I will never forget seeing his scars.
In 1998 Robert Burns of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service wrote of two verified attacks in Texas, including the aforementioned 1996 fatality.
“In one instance, a boar attacked a woman on a Fort Worth jogging trail. Two years ago, a Cherokee County deer hunter died from a feral hog attack.”
The Benton County Daily Record chronicled a wild boar that, “attacked and flipped a utility vehicle on a job site in Waco… and severely injured a Gentry man.”
The story details that, “Greg Lemke, who designs chicken houses for Latco Inc. of Lincoln, was a passenger in a utility vehicle when the wild boar struck the rear of the vehicle, causing it to flip with Lemke inside.”
“The accident left Lemke paralyzed from the breast bone down.”
The Pineville Town Talk tells the story of a Pineville, La. man who had a pig enter the house he was visiting.
“Boston Kyles, 20, of 497 Pelican Drive told deputies he was visiting his sister’s house at the time of the incident. He said he had gone there to clean fish and was sitting in the house’s front room when the pig entered through the front door. Kyles told deputies he stomped the floor to try to shoo the pig out of the room, but the pig charged him, Maj. Herman Walters said.”
“Walters had heard of pigs attacking people in the woods but said this was the first time he had heard of a pig going into a house and attacking someone.”
Chester Moore, Jr.