Feral pigs return to ravage San Ramon neighborhood

Despite efforts to capture them a few months ago, a group of feral pigs has returned to ravage a neighborhood in San Ramon.
November 8, 2013 6:57:09 PM PST
One neighborhood in San Ramon thought it was done with the problem of wild pigs tearing through their yards a couple of months ago. But now the pigs are back, the damage is getting more expensive, and folks are getting sick of it.

Feral pigs in search of food have been ravaging the landscaping in the Henry Ranch subdivision for months. One front lawn on Westside Drive was just recently torn up for the tenth time.

The wild pigs are searching for grubs in the lushly landscaped yards of this upscale neighborhood. They are coming down from the hills above where there are thousands of acres of public and private land.

The city of San Ramon and the homeowners association jointly secured a permit and hired a trapper to capture some of the pigs in Sept. 12 pigs were trapped. But the pig population appears to be so large, the problem persists.

"It's kind of scary, but it's also very devastating to oour yards and costly," San Ramon resident Scott Burns said. "It looks like someone came through with a rototiller."

"The hunters have been up there and they've just been killing them one by one and trying to take them down, but they said there's just too many of them," San Ramon resident David Wetzel said. "It's my understanding that they breed by the dozens. Obviously there's no food up there, so they've been coming down here."

The problem here apparently has spread to nearby communities in San Ramon.

Frustrated homeowners have given up repairing the damage for now, hoping the winter rainy season will restore the vegetation and grub population in the dry hills. And the Henry Ranch Homeowners Association is exploring whether hiring a federal trapping program might be the next step.

One resident says it's amazing to see how fast the pigs work. He told me they can turn away and in a matter of minutes their yard can be turned upside down. He says the pigs usually get to work right after dark.

A trapper who is not working in this neighborhood suggested residents should consider not watering their lawns as much as the soft soil makes it easier for the pigs to destroy the grass.

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