Feral hogs are rampaging across San Jose, destroying land and rooting up lawns, but a new city ordinance up for a vote on Tuesday would let people use bow and arrows to hunt them.
Hot, arid conditions and Anderson Dam being drained may have contributed to the pig population boom, experts said, according to KTVU. Because pigs need water frequently due to not having sweat glands, having their water supply depleted have driven them to find it elsewhere.
Brian Hom used a rock barrier and sprayed grub killer to try to protect his lawn from wild pigs but to no avail.
“I was kind of in shock,” Hom said, according to the publication.
The growth of wild hogs is exploding nationwide, leading some experts to call the growth a “feral swine bomb,” according to McClatchy News. Estimates put the national total at 6 million — and booming.
Texas has the most of any state, with more than 1.5 million, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife. California has a pig population between 200,000 and 400,000, The Sacramento Bee reported in 2018.
Wild hogs like to root around in the ground looking for food, such as roots and insects. They cause an estimated $1.5 billion in damages to property, crops, livestock and ecosystems, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
In San Jose, a vote on a proposal introduced by Councilmember Johnny Khamis is planned for next week that would allow licensed trapper to use bows and arrows to hunt pigs, SFGate reported.
The rule has faced backlash from police and city staff, who worry that the arrows could be dangerous, according to the publication.
A temporary ordinance was passed earlier this month that allows the pigs to be killed using archery, NBC Bay Area reported.
Wild pig attacks on humans are rare but a Texas woman was killed by a pack last year outside of her home, The New York Times reported. There have been five fatal hog attacks since the U.S. began taking records.
European wild boars were introduced to California in the 1920s and they bred with domestic pigs, resulting in wild boar and domestic pig hybrids. They were allowed to be killed without restrictions until the 1950s and were designated a game animal in 1957.