Boar Up in Hawaii

Like mongoose in Hawaii, feral pigs have also become an island nuisance. They not only run amuck through forest areas and mountainscapes but through backyards as well. Mostly, they’ll come out at dusk, so it’s possible not to see them at all.

But if you happen to be hiking with the setting sun, don’t be surprised if you start to hear snorting grunts in the bushes. In fact, you should probably pick up the pace and begin making your way out of the trails because feral pigs can be dangerous. They have razor-sharp tusks and can display very aggressive behavior.

Some say that if you find yourself in this situation, climb up the nearest tree. Whatever you do, don’t shine a flashlight in their eyes. It infuriates them to no end, prompting the pigs to charge with fierce intentions.

Feral pigs seemed to be an especially big problem on Kauai. One family friend told us there would be a group of pigs in their yard every morning and night. Apparently, the pigs were attracted to our friend’s crops of avocados, mac nuts and papayas. They would find remnants of the pests’ overnight destruction in the form of uprooted trees and gardens.

They had no choice but to call the island pig hunter – a small but muscular Hawaiian man who caught pigs for a living. I’ve seen photos of Peter hauling huge pigs out with just his body as a vehicle. This guy is definitely a pig’s worst nightmare.

Again, while you may not see a pig at all during your trip to Hawaii, it’s important to know that they exist and that they mean business. So be prepared wherever you choose to explore because you never know who you may run into.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher