For possibly the first time, wild boars have been spotted in Mahoning County.
Beaver Police Chief Carl Frost thought he’d heard everything and then there came a most unusual call for help Monday night. A resident called from Western Reserve Road and said there were pigs digging up their driveway. And not just any pigs — three feral swine.
Feral swine are an invasive species causing big problems in southern Ohio, but this is the first time they’ve been spotted in Mahoning County.
“I didn’t know anything about them until I read the ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) website that says they’re rototillers and cause extensive damage,” Frost said.
The homeowner had extensive lawn damage.
The wild pigs love to root in crops like corn and soybeans, and they can decimate a field and cost farmers plenty.
Tanya Espinosa, a spokesperson for the United State Department of Agriculture, said the animals cause $1.5 billion each year in damages and control costs.
The swine are not just a problem for farmers. They can impact everyone.
“They affect agriculture, pets, and people, natural resources, property, pretty much everything,” Espinosa said.
In Ohio, the state says feral hogs should be destroyed on sight, but Beaver police weren’t sure what to do.
“The report says they tried to wrap one of them up with a blanket. I don’t know what they were going to do with it when they caught it,” Frost said.
After chasing the pigs for an hour, two were shot and killed. The third escaped and lived to root another day.