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Wild boars on the loose in Sullivan County. It's a nightmare for Bethel residents who tell our Eva McKend something must be done to stop the dangerous animals from roaming in their backyards.
BETHEL, N.Y. -- "Once they take a foothold in the area, they are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of," said Susan Otto after spotting wild boars in the town of Bethel.
When Otto heard about wild boars in the town several years ago, she was concerned. But after a wild pig roamed onto private property and was shot and killed, the hysteria died down.
Now Otto says the beasts are back.
"Last year, I saw the wild boars in the road here with the little piglets and my parents have a 200 acre dairy farm. There are number of farmers down the road, there are number of young people, children, that live around here," said Otto.
The Town of Bethel has received renewed complaints from residents since September. One person spotted a large boar on their property by the side of their house with six baby boars behind it.
"We take those calls very seriously. We did an inspection where we believed they’ve been harbored in the past and we located at least 40 to 50 on a pen in the property, adults and baby ones," said town supervisor Daniel Sturm.
Sturm says he believes the boars are coming from a property on Goldsmith Road. The town has issued a notice with more than 20 violations and plans to move forward with legal action. No one at the residence in question could be reached for comment.
"The safety of our residents is our prime concern and if they are running loose, we have to do something about it," said Sturm.
The USDA says they, too, have received several reports of feral swine in Sullivan and Delaware counties and are working with landowners to remove the unwelcome visitors and collect samples for disease testing.
Otto says being vocal is key. She wants to see something done about the dangerous wild animals before they hurt someone or negatively impact Bethel's farming community.
"It’s important that extremely good fences are put up so that they stay within the fence or that the Governor signs a law banning them so that they are not in New York State," said Otto.