Wild boars on the lam in Yukon subdivision
'They were outside my window and my child was crying,' said Mendenhall resident
A group of large wild boars is on the loose from a Yukon farm, and the owner has until midnight Wednesday to deal with them "by whatever means necessary."
"They're true to their name — these animals are quite wild. They don't respond well to human interaction," said Jesse Walchuk, an agricultural officer with the Yukon government.
The seven animals — all female, and each weighing about 200 pounds — apparently escaped from a farm in the Mendenhall subdivision area, west of Whitehorse, several weeks ago.
People have occasionally spotted the animals in the bush, and some Mendenhall residents have been concerned to see the beasts regularly wandering onto their properties.
"We're seeing them in our yards almost everyday," said Laurie Lee, who lives in Mendenhall. "They were outside my window and my child was crying."
"I don't care what happens to them," said Lee. "I want them out of the environment."
Tannis Thompson-Preete recalls first spotting the animals when she was driving on the Alaska Highway earlier this month.
"We actually weren't sure what it was. We were expecting bear," she said.
"Right away, we're quite concerned and a little flabbergasted because it is something we did not expect to see on the Alaska Highway."
'They know what a fence looks like'
Walchuk said government officials have tried to catch the animals, but to no avail. He said they've tried using bait, and trail cameras to track the animals' movements.
"They are very smart, and they don't like to come back into fenced areas. They know when they're being pursued, and they know what a fence looks like," he said.
Walchuk said the loose swine are taken "quite seriously," and the goal is to ensure the animals are no longer running free.
One concern, he said, is that the animals may reproduce in the wild — though he admits that's highly unlikely since the group includes no males.
"We are not aware of any other wild boar or feral pigs in the Yukon, so the chances... would be astronomical for these females to run into a male in the Yukon wilderness," he said.
Walchuk said the farmer who owned the animals now has until midnight Wednesday to deal with his fugitives. That could mean capturing them or killing them. The farmer could otherwise be fined.
"By whatever means necessary — we've put that on the owner to come up with a solution," Walchuk said.
With files from Heather Avery