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When Pigs Go Hog Wild : Animals: In a Riverside County river bottom, a growing population of swine pose a hazard both to people and the environment.

December 01, 1991|TED JOHNSON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Another proposal calls for placing pens along the river bottom and feeding the pigs. Gradually, they would grow accustomed to the offer of a free and easy meal, and would come in greater numbers. Then, one night, the pens would be locked, trapping a large share of the herds. The pigs then would be auctioned or sold to farmers, depending on whether they are healthy enough.

"This would be a humane approach, and it would be time-consuming," said Rosanna Scott, senior administrative assistant to Riverside County Supervisor Melba Dunlap, who represents much of the unincorporated area. "But if we sold the pigs, we probably could recoup the cost. They are very large, and they are probably very tasty."

If that does not work, chances are Dunlap will not be the only elected official saddled with the pig problem. During next year's redistricting, the river will be split in three, and two other supervisors will have to deal with it. It remains to be seen whether the pigs will be an election issue.

"We have all kinds of challenges to government right now," Scott said. "We didn't need this one."

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