TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - A pun-filled pig post is making the rounds on Facebook after Tampa police took a photo of wild hogs out for a stroll near a New Tampa gas station early Friday morning.
While it seems wild and funny to see them in that setting, some wildlife experts said they are getting a call a week about pigs bulldozing neighborhoods over the past year.
“I probably got more (calls) this year than I have five years prior,” said Dave Lueck, owner of The Trapper Guy, a wildlife removal and control company.
Lueck said the wild hogs eat acorns, grass and more when they run out of food sources near the conservation areas where they usually lurk.
“They're opportunists, so they're basically eating whatever they can once they get their noses underneath the ground,” said Lueck.
Homeowners shared their frustrations with FOX 13 over the past year.
“You can see, it’s just like a backhoe came in here,” said homeowner Jim Downie in July 2018. “It’s a lot of time and effort and money, and they just don’t go away.”
Wild pigs have hogged up a lot of energy from neighbors in the Tampa Bay area.
“It’s overwhelming, and it’s frustrating,” said homeowner Sandra McCaw in February. “This is our retirement home and a place we want to just relax.”
Trappers said the feral hogs are very strong, can dig and jump, making them difficult to keep out. However, there are steps homeowners can take if you have a hog problem.
“As a homeowner, you have to have a substantial wall or fence to keep them off your property. Other than that you're going to have to call somebody to remove them,” said Lueck.
Wildlife experts say the pigs are not native to the area, so once they trap them they are euthanized.
They aren’t generally dangerous, but trappers said if you see them don’t approach them because they aren’t friendly pigs.