Feral pigs may face euthanasia after repeatedly tearing up a Lafayette park

Lafayette Community Park in Contra Costa County has been dealing with a problem for months—feral pigs keep invading. 

By some estimates, as many as 40 have been coming, often at dusk and dawn since October, looking for grubs, worms and acorns.

But in the process the pigs are destroying large sections of the park costing the city some $50,000.

The wild pigs have also invaded the grounds in front of a nearby school and some people's yards.

"We've had a couple of encounters where the off-leash dogs have spooked a pig and they came close to humans aggressively," said Jonathan Katayanagi, the director of Lafayette Parks & Recreation. 

A fence kept the pigs off the baseball and soccer field which is currently under repair, but they just found their way into other parts of the park.

Out of caution, the city has posted warning signs and closed some nature trails to avoid possible pig vs. people encounters, but the city is going one-step further.
It is hiring a licensed trapper to deal with the invaders.

"The trapper we are working with is hoping to use a corral system so we can control large groups. After that, (California) Fish & Wildlife can dictate what is to be done with the pigs. But we are told relocation is not an option," Katayanagi said.

That means euthanasia is likely.

Many of those who use the park said the pigs should go.

"They really serve no purpose around here other than destroy the parks and recreation facilities," says Mark Orders of Moraga.

Park officials believe the pigs first came to the park during the dry season in search of water and food, and apparently like what they found.

The city hopes the trapper will rid the area of pigs within the next few weeks.