Trappers interested in harvesting wild hogs may soon get their chance at Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden in Kaneohe, Hawaii. According to KITV, city officials are about to finalize a memorandum of understanding that would allow trappers inside the gardens to help cull the booming pig population. The 400-acre Oahu refuge has been home to feral pigs for years, and attempts by the Department of Agriculture have proven to be overly expensive and only moderately successful. Since 2007 the city has paid more than $357,540 to professional hog trappers to harvest a mere 232 pigs. The new plan will not cost city residents a penny, and provide trappers with more opportunities.
“Anytime we can save taxpayers’ money (and) taxpayers’ funds and have a party willing to do it at no cost to the city, it behooves us to move very aggressively to take that offer,” City Council Chairman Ernie Martin told KITV. “I’m very pleased we’re finally at this point.”
Feral pigs are not only a hazard to the collection of rare and endangered plants in the gardens, but also to the city as well. The Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden was initially designed by the US Army Corps of Engineers as flood protection for Kaneohe, and the pigs may degrade that function.
If approved, the memorandum will allow groups of trappers into the park after visiting hours. Trappers will not be allowed to bring firearms within the gardens. Officials have said that this is due to safety concerns, and will discuss the matter more later this month.