Wild Pigs Tear Up Soccer Fields, Yards in Lafayette

An army of feral pigs are running wild in the East Bay.

In Lafayette, parks officials say the invasive species are to blame for tearing up soccer fields and yards. The damage is costing the city thousands of dollars.

The feral pigs feast on worms and they love to stick their snouts in moist soil, which explains why dozens of pigs targeted two soccer fields. It turns out Lafayette is not the only city dealing with an invasion of feral pigs. Dublin also reports the same problem.

The incident in Lafayette was captured on camera last Thursday.

"We caught 25 pigs roaming the parks," said Jonathan Katayanagi with Lafayette's Parks and Recreation Department. "They were on the playing fields, they were on the trails."

When the sun came up, staff saw the trail of damage that the heavyset pigs left behind.

The invasive species have been around for centuries. The Spaniards brought domestic pigs to the West Coast, some of which became feral. But it's the first time the nocturnal herd has feasted on two soccer and baseball fields in Lafayette.

"We won't be back to green grass until the spring," Katayanagi said.

A local kids soccer league had to cancel games at the park and move over to another field. People who live near the park have also had their yards torn up.

"I've heard everything from I'm giving up on the grass to I'm calling the fence guys," Katanyanagi said.

Speaking of fences, the city has coughed up $5,000 to pay for a temporary fence. There's now a plan to build a chain link to make sure the pigs stay away.

"You absolutely should not approach them," Katanyanagi said. "They can be aggressive."

Meanwhile, Dublin city officials have set up temporary fencing, traps and cameras to monitor the pig population there.

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