Excerpts from a story orginally shown on WDSU on July 22nd, by Andy Cunningham.
NEW ORLEANS —The problem of feral hogs continues to cause problems, especially along the westbank's levee system.
Wildlife experts say the wild pigs are causing damage levees built to protect the region from major hurricanes.
The issue led the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West to seek the help of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office to control the swelling population, using off-duty sharpshooter's, who would work four-to-five hours shifts.
The proposal will go before the authority's board of commissioners, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at 7001 River Road, Marrero, Louisiana.
The authority has a $25,000 maximum budget for hog control. In addition to a plan to use deputies, another plan includes hiring a private company to hunt the animals that some believe number into the thousands across Southeast Louisiana.
"Pigs have a society, they even have leaders," said John Schmidt.
Schmidt, also known as "Hogman" or "Trapper John," is known nationally for his more than 30-plus years of trapping the large wild pigs.
"I wouldn't call it a plague, but their are certainly more now than before Katrina," Schmidt said.
He does question if the Sheriff's Office has the expertise and knowledge to do what he's been doing professionally for almost four decades.
"It's not an easy job, these wild hogs are a lot smarter than people think they're," said Schmidt.
He does agree, the pigs are causing significant damage to the levee system.
"The wild boar comes in destroys the clay cap and you get pressure on that levee," Schmidt said. "It can blow out where the damage occurs and it happened in St. Bernard Parish before."
Following Hurricane Katrina, sheriff's snipers helped manage the nutria population and the influx of other animals following the storm.
Click HERE to view the video on WDSU's website. The video unfortunately contains advertisements.