Wild hog infestation has East Austin neighborhood setting traps, asking for help

The hogs are taking over an area in East Austin near Springdale and Sprinkle roads. (Photo courtesy: Andy Sernovitz)

An infestation of wild hogs has an Austin neighborhood setting traps and asking for help. The hogs are taking over an area in East Austin near Springdale and Sprinkle roads.

"Here's the emergency fence," said Andy Sernovitz, owner of Gas Pedal.

He didn't want to install the fence around his business, but he says an invasion of feral hogs left him with no choice.

"The hogs were coming right up in the parking lot and harassing the employees," said Sernovitz. "Everyone in the neighborhood is reporting packs of pigs walking down Springdale Road in broad daylight, sometimes a dozen at a time."

Gas Pedal has over 30 employees and is located on Springdale Road in East Austin.

It's not where anyone would expect to see dozens of feral hogs, packs of coyotes and a bobcat. But Sernovitz says pictures and video that have been taken on his property show that what was a nuisance is now a full-on infestation.

"Four months ago, as new development started all around Sprinkle Road, animals just started moving into this neighborhood," said Sernovitz. "Usually it's piglets first and then a pack of coyotes following behind and then a few minutes after that a sole bobcat sneaking along looking for a snack."

Newly installed fence posts on his 80 acres are now scratching posts for the bobcat. The owner of Gas Pedal says it's too much for him and his neighbors to be able to handle on their own.

"It's bad," said Sernovitz. "We've got a problem here. It went from occasionally seeing one to suddenly a lot of pigs and then the coyotes and then the bobcats."

Sernovitz has video of the hogs eating beer-soaked corn while a large trap was being built. They became comfortable with the space and now that it's been completed 29 feral hogs were just captured in the first two trappings.

"Government has got to get involved and make sure we're not having a safety crisis," said Sernovitz.

The business owner wants Austin and Travis County to play an active role in coming up with a plan to deal with the feral hogs. Sernovitz thinks if the problem continues much longer someone will get hurt.

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