While enjoying a peaceful barbecue with a friend in his garden on a Tuesday evening in Otago, New Zealand, Steven Easton, a man in his 70s, encountered a family of wild pigs coming onto his property.
Unfortunately, these pigs didn’t come in peace and his evening was rudely interrupted by one of them that was a massive adult feral pig. The wild boar attacked him with such force that he was knocked unconscious, and narrowly avoided having his eye gouged out by the wild animal’s tusk.
Steven said as he attempted to shoo away the smaller pigs, he was unexpectedly confronted by a substantial adult boar.
“I just turned and to find a very large boar about two to three metres [6.5 to 10 feet] away and he seemed to be just flying straight towards me,” Steven said, according to Newsweek. “There was plenty of room for him to get past but he [turned] slightly. And then he hit me. And I went in the air and over a bank down about a metre [3 feet] and landed on a lawn.”
Got sent this photo of an absolute unit of a feral pig feasting upon a wild goat it supposedly drowned. Entelodonts reborn? Clarence River (Waiau Tia), South Island, New Zealand. pic.twitter.com/RfxhUsEqln
— Giant Australian Feral Cats (@TheWildReviled) February 12, 2023
Wild pigs can be found all over New Zealand, having been originally introduced as domestic pigs in the 1700s. However, they have become a significant issue in recent times, particularly in Wellington, where they are wreaking havoc in people’s backyards, slaughtering domestic animals, and generally being a nuisance.
Pigs can reach a weight of 450 pounds and possess large tusks that can extend 6 inches away from their faces in a curved shape.
Steven said when the attack happened, he was knocked unconscious for approximately 25 minutes after the boar’s tusk grazed dangerously close to his eye and dislocated his shoulder.
“I had blood out of my nose, out of my mouth, out of my eye,” Steven said. “It hit me in the eye, in the corner of my eye by my nose. The doctors seem to think there’s quite a bit of damage. My eye was completely closed by that time.”
He was transported to the nearby town of Ranfurly to receive medical treatment.
Wild boar (wild pig) distribution in New Zealand. They are in forests, spread over 34% of the country, as shown in pink. https://t.co/bhqTr5uTWI pic.twitter.com/sAiFksyZYS
— r/MapPorn All New Posts (@rMapPornAllNew) April 8, 2022
Observing a rise in the boar population, Steven is worried about the safety of his fellow villagers. He reported sightings of the pigs wandering around different spots in the small village.
Steven believes that the increased sightings of the pigs could be attributed to the removal of a section of pine trees on the town’s periphery.
“We feel that they’ve come into town because they’ve been pushed out of the way where they live. And also at this time of the year, there’s quite a bit of fruit in town with plum trees and pear trees and stuff like that,” he said.
To prevent further injuries, he has implored the local authorities to intensify their efforts in addressing the pig issue.
“[The Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Central Otago District Council] say they’re controlling the pigs around the area, but it’s very clear they’re not because the pigs wouldn’t be in town,” Pauline Easton, Easton’s wife, said. “It’s a big issue, and we want somebody to help us and take responsibility for it.”
To see more about the New Zealand boar, you can watch an episode below of MeatEater’s Bush Pig: New Zealand Wild Boar!