Since October, feral pigs and water buffalo have been roaming the community of Evans, West Virginia, and making themselves at home.
Mildred McIntyre, 93, who lives on Donahue Road, told WSAZ that she regularly has to chase a water buffalo out of her yard. She said she would just like him to “find a good home."
The water buffalo appears to be somewhere between 1,500 and 1,800 pounds. “I just don’t want him in my yard,” Ms. McIntyre said.
Feral pigs are not like domestic pigs. An adult can easily weigh 200 pounds, they reproduce rapidly, and they are voracious eaters, rooting up any land on which they forage. They also carry a number of zoonotic diseases—meaning those which can be transmitted to humans.
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Since the exotic invaders arrived in October, residents have been asking for help from the Division of Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture. Evans is an unincorporated community in Jackson County.
On January 18, Buddy Davidson, Communications spokesman for the West Virginia Department of Agriculture told WASZ that four months later his department is still “in the preliminary stages” of investigating the situation. ”We are looking into questions regarding legal jurisdiction and ownership of the animals in this particular case and what response options might be feasible."
It is believed the wild animals may have been abandoned at the closing of a local safari club that was used for hunting and also kept a petting zoo..
Neighbors have told WSAZ they do not want the animals killed but would like them moved to a safer confined area.
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On Wednesday, January 22, possibly spurred by the media attention, a worker from the WVDA reportedly spent the day along Donahue Road in Evans searching for the water buffalo and feral hogs.
The Department says it plans to hold the animals and care for them in “temporary stables” until permanent homes can be found for them.