Feral pigs damage Ho'omaluhia Botanical GardenUPDATED 6:59 PM HST Nov 25, 2013Video Transcript
A persistent pig problem re- surfaces at a popular botanical garden. Feral pigs are back in force at Ho'omaluhia, but before trappers can remove them, the City Council must take action. KITV4s Andrew Pereira has the story new tonight... Andrew? Paula, it's been nearly two months since an agreement that allows feral pigs to be trapped expired. Feral pigs at Hoomaluhia have taken full advantage. Visitors come to Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden for the sweeping views and abundant plant life. But for feral pigs, the 400 acre garden is like a 24-hour grocery store. WINNIE SINGEO: "THEY LIKE ALL SORTS OF PLANTS, SO THEY ROOT INDISCRIMINANTL Y." A worker at the botanical garden snapped this picture of nursing sow just last week. There hasn't been a contract with trappers since September 30... so the pig population is surging. WINNIE SINGEO: "I DON'T THINK WE CAN EVER ERADICATE THEM, BUT WE WANT TO MAINTAIN SO THAT THEY DON'T DO TOO MUCH DAMAGE." There's plenty of damage now. One ride through the garden, and it's easy to spot. Around trees and on grass near campsites. These wiliwili trees were planted in March, but their growth has been stunted by persistent porkers. Here, these neleau trees are being knocked down. WINNIE SINGEO: "THEY DAMAGE THE GRASS, THEY ROOT IT UP. THEY DAMAGE OUR NATIVE HAWAIIAN PLANTS. THEY DAMAGE ALL THE ORNAMENTAL PLANTS ALSO." ANDREW PEREIRA: "DAMAGE HAPPENS ALMOST DAILY. AS A MATTER OF FACT, THIS EXTENSIVE DAMAGE YOU'RE LOOKING AT HAPPENED JUST OVERNIGHT. THE FERAL PIGS NOT ONLY POSE A THREAT TO PLANTS, BUT ALSO TO PEOPLE." WINNIE SINGEO: "WE ALWAYS WORRY THAT SOMEBODY MIGHT INADVERTENTLY JUST GO BETWEEN A MAMMA AND HER BABIES, AND THEN WHAT YOU KNOW? Since 2007, the city has partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture to control feral pigs at Hoomaluhia. It lapsed... And a new $53,000 contract needs to be approved by the City Council. WINNIE SINGEO: "WITHOUT THEM I THINK THAT ALL OUR JOGGERS AND WALKERS AND CAMPERS AND FISHER PEOPLE WOULD HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME ENJOYING THE GARDEN." The City Council expects to adopt the new agreement with the USDA during it's meeting Dec. 11th. Pigs that are trapped in the botanical garden are killed at another location. Back to you.