DALLAS - As students at Paul Quinn College settle in for class, some staff members are trying to find ways to deal with a nuisance that is creeping onto campus.
Packs of feral hogs have been invading the college’s “We Over Me” farm. Workers say the wild animals have been doing significant damage, destroying crops.
“In two nights, we’ve lost 80 percent of our melon crop,” said James Hunter, a Farm Director at Paul Quinn College.
Hunter says staff first began noticing the feral hogs on campus in early June. The school has been strategically placing traps around the farm and campus grounds, in an effort to trap the hogs.
”We’ve trapped over 26,” Hunter said.
Dallas Animal Services and trappers have been picking up the hogs. Some administrators believe nearby development is pushing the hogs from their natural habitats further into the city, and along the Trinity Forest river banks and creeks behind the college.
“They tear up the plants, and then they eat up all of the ripe melons,” Hunter explained.
So far, the feral hogs have destroyed most of the farm’s melon crop. The animals have eaten tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and squash, among other things students planted.
"Some of the packs that come through here, might be four or five sows, female hogs, with a lot of babies. Varying sizes and ages, everything from like 10 pounds up to 40 or 50 pounds," Hunter explained.
The “We Over Me” farm’s staff is taking proactive steps to eliminate additional problems before they lead to a total crop loss for the season.