State: Wild pigs spotted, euthanized

Four wild pigs on the lam near Hotchkiss were euthanized this week, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials.

CPW officers first heard reports about wild pigs near Hotchkiss last summer, said spokesman Joe Lewandowski, and while they found tracks, they were not able to locate the animals.

After residents saw the pigs roaming near Redlands Mesa this week, Wildlife Services officers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture located and euthanized them on Wednesday.

Feral swine are an invasive species and not considered wildlife, Lewandowski said.

"These pigs can become feral and wild, they can breed prolifically and they're a major invasive species in places like Texas and Arkansas," Lewandowski said. "It's legal for us to euthanize these animals. They're not wildlife and they're not native."

Wild pigs are known for wreaking havoc on property and crops, according to the USDA.

While it's not clear where the pigs came from, Lewandowski said anyone who owns pigs and gets tired of taking care of them shouldn't just set them loose, and if residents see wild pigs they should report them to wildlife officials.

Hotchkiss resident Maria Forster did not see the pigs walk by her house, but said they "caused a flurry" among her neighbors. Forster said some speculated the pigs were from a game reserve near Collbran — more than 30 miles from Hotchkiss as the crow flies.

Little Creek Ranch in Collbran does advertise wild boars for hunting on its website but ranch employees could not be reached for comment.

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