A group of boars running wild in City Park have been caught and shipped off to an animal sanctuary, officials said Monday.
An adult European Wild Boar and two piglets had been having their way in the park, until last week, when officials called a local trapper. The boars "are not your everyday variety of boars," according to a news release from the group.
One adult European Wild Boar and two piglets were recently caught and removed from City Park, after officials contracted a licensed animal handler to investigate sightings of the boars. "Trapper" John Schmidt, pictured, a licensed animal wildlife handler and expert on the local wild pig and boar populations, caught several pigs last week in City Park. After fielding several reports of wild boars roaming the park, park officials hired a local trapper to relocate the animals.
Local trapper John Schmidt has caught at least 10 wild boars and piglets in about a month's worth of work, said City Park CEO Robert Becker.
"He thinks there are two or three more out there," Becker said. "We are going to try and get them all."
Wild boars, ancestors of domestic pigs, are among the most widely distributed mammals on Earth, ranging from Britain across Europe, through the Middle East and India, across Asia and most of North Africa, according to the San Diego Zoo. Boars don't usually pose a danger to people.
Becker said he regularly hires trappers whenever they get reports of increasing populations of alligators, snakes and raccoons.
Last fall, a trapper relocated 25 raccoons from the park. "Most of these boars are young and small," Becker said. "Any wild animal has the potential to be dangerous, but they are not aggressive or threatening."
Schmidt, a licensed animal wildlife handler with a vast knowledge on local pigs and wild boars, caught most recently a boar and two piglets last week, said Jeff Dorson, executive director of the Humane Society of Louisiana.
The boars "are not your everyday variety of boars," according to a news release from the Humane Society of Louisiana.
They are descendants from of wild boars transported from Texas in the late 1970s. These boars then escaped from pens in Chalmette and have migrated in the following decades.
Schmidt declined to comment.
Following their capture, the boar and piglets were transported to the Clearwater Sanctuary in Bush.
"We put them in the back of John's pickup truck and he drove down there," said Dorson. "I gave him directions." The boars then underwent a medical check by a veterinarian and were released to the wilds of the sanctuary.
Brendan McCarthy can be reached at [email protected] or (504) 826-3301.