Lawmakers work on agreement with pig huntersUPDATED 6:37 PM HST Apr 22, 2014Video Transcript
Hundreds of thousands of dollars spent, and not much to show for it. Feral pigs continue to run hog wild through Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden in Kaneohe despite expensive efforts to keep them out... Now that a federal contract has expired, the city is approaching pig hunters. KITV4's Andrew Pereira joins us with the latest... Andrew? Yunji, the Pig Hunters Association of Oahu is telling city officials there's no need to spend taxpayer money on pig control. 40-50 115-120 121-130 With 400 acres and spectacular views, Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden is a great place to get away. But feral pigs are in on the secret. And right now there's NOBODY on pig patrol. MITCHELL TYNANES: "IT HAS TO BE REGULATED, YOU NEED TO CONTROL THE POPULATION." From Oct. 2007 to Sept. 2013, the city gave the USDA's Wildlife Services Branch $357,546 to try and bring the pig population at Hoomaluhia under control. Under the agreement, 232 feral pigs were trapped and killed, in addition to other nuisance animals. JOEY MANAHAN: "I WAS KIND OF SURPRISED TO FIND OUT THAT WE SPENT THAT MUCH MONEY, AND IF YOU BREAK IT DOWN PER HEAD OR PER PIG TO $1,400 OR $1,500 PER HEAD, IT IS AN EXORBITANT AMOUNT. IT'S HUGE." Now factor in the counter-offer from the Pig Hunters Association of Oahu: OLLIE LUNASCO:" IF YOU NEED IT DONE JUST CALL US; WE DO IT FREE." Wait, say that again? OLLIE LUNASCO:"WE DO IT FREE." That's zero, zilch, nada... a $357,000 discount The association says all of its hunters are licensed and about 15 of them are willing to use traps at Hoomaluhia. That means no guns and no snares. MITCHELL TYNANES: "PERSONALLY I USE JUST BOX TRAPS AND PEN TRAPS AND WE TAKE OUT THE ANIMALS LIVE." OLLIE LUNASCO: "IT WILL BE OUT OF THE PUBLIC'S EYE BECAUSE THE PIGS WILL SMELL THE FOOD. SO, WE'LL PUT THE TRAP OUT AND THEN IT WILL CHECK EVERY MORNING." Mayor Kirk Caldwell supports the idea of allowing pig hunters into the botanical garden, but logistics need to be worked out. Members of the Pig Hunters Association of Oahu say there's no time to waste. MITCHELL TYNANES: "PIGS MULTIPLY EVERY SIX MONTHS, SO NOW WE'RE LOOKING AT A LARGER ISSUE." The city's new Parks and Recreation director expects to come up with an agreement with pig hunters in about two weeks. The Pig Hunters Association of Oahu says all of the pigs it catches are either consumed, re-located, or given away.