Authorities believe a Texan woman died after several feral pigs attacked her at a rural property on Nov. 24.
The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Christine Rollins, 59, suffered serious wounds and bled to death after multiple feral hogs took turns at biting her in Anahuac, 49 miles east of Houston.
Rollins visited the property occupied by an elderly couple she cared for before sunrise about 6 a.m. local time, around the time officers, believe the victim was attacked. The elderly woman aged 84, noticed her carer was late and decided to go outside where she made the grisly discovery in her yard.
Sheriff Brian Hawthorne confirmed Rollins was found lying between her own locked vehicle and the property’s front door. Deputies who arrived at the scene discovered the victim was dead and covered in multiple injuries. The differently sized bite marks on her body led investigators to deduce more than one hog attacked her.
“This is a very rare incident,” Hawthorne said according to the Associated Press.
The news agency reported feral pig attacks on humans are rare and fatalities are even rarer. Savannah River National Laboratory Manager, Environmental Sciences John J. Mayer revealed in a 2013 study that between the years 1825 and 2012 there have only been four fatal attacks in the United States, with three of those cases involving animals that were injured from hunting.
Texas Wildlife Services State Director Mike Bodenchuk agreed that attacks are rare and there is a greater chance of being attacked by a hog in the dark when they are most active. Their sharp tusks can cause slashing injuries.
Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute Associate Director Jim Cathey revealed some feral pigs can weigh more than 200 pounds and tend to be stoutly built and powerful when they rear back with their heads.
“It’s a very quick, powerful motion,” he Cathey told the Associated Press.
Rollins’s son-in-law Tony Sandles Jr. recalled Rollins was like family to the people she had cared for in the past 40 years, and their homes became like her own. Her duties included cooking, cleaning, housesitting, and keeping people company.
He also revealed Rollins enjoyed sports and was a lifelong fan of the San Francisco 49ers football team even though she was born and raised in southeast Texas.
“She was the most amazing woman that you could ever meet,” he said.
Sandles believes his mother-in-law would not have left her car if she knew the hogs were nearby.
“She’s very, very cautious,” he said.
An estimated 6 million feral hogs across the nation and about half of them are in Texas. Hawthorne said they are an unprotected species in Texas and landowners are free to kill them.