SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - An increase in the feral hog population in southwest Louisiana is posing a threat to lake area residents.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has responded to an increasing number of residents calling about wild hogs showing up in residential areas and school zones throughout the area.
Sulphur resident Brandon Breaux said he cannot believe the amount of hogs that are turning up in his community.
"I've been living here for about 16 years and I've never heard of any dead hogs being close to this place," said Breaux. " I just hope they can do something soon to put a stop to this."
The hogs have the potential to damage property, destroy the marshlands, and even spread diseases.
"They are carrying diseases, we are testing them now and collecting blood samples," said John Robinette, a biologist with LDWF.
Robinette said the rapid increase of these feral hogs is due to people releasing them into the wild at a very rapid rate.
"They breed at rapid rates as well," said Robinette. "They usually have two litters a year and 10 to 12 of them per litter."
A new piece of legislation is expected to give hunters more time to catch the hogs and put a dent in the population increase.
"This measure will allow hunters to hunt for feral hogs, coyotes, beavers, nutria, at night after legal shooting hours with a shot gun no larger than 10 gage with a buck shot or a smaller shot or a 22," said Marceaux.
The new law goes into effect on February 28th. If residents spot a wild hog that needs to be trapped or picked up, contact the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at (337) 491-2580.