Ann Turner and three friends were surprised and a little concerned when what appeared to be two boars stepped out the woods while they were playing golf at the Cowichan Golf Club on June 18.
Turner said they thought they were definitely boars as they were coloured black and brown and apparently had small tusks protruding from their mouths.
“They seemed to be looking for something to eat in the grass on the golf course,” she said.
“They didn’t seem very scared of us and one came pretty close. They just wandered around for awhile and then walked away from us.”
Cowichan Golf Club spokesman Norm Jackson said this is not the first time the club, and the area, has had to deal with stray pigs over the years.
But he said they are not wild animals and are escaping from a farm close to the club, located south of Duncan.
“It’s been a challenging situation to deal with and there are so many government departments that have to be gone through, but we’re doing what we can,” Jackson said.
“The animals that come onto our property have not been aggressive and just spend their time digging for food. They haven’t done any damage to our greens up to this point, but they have done some damage on the edge of the greens along the freeways.”
A statement from the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations said that, based on the pictures provided, the animals are not Eurasian wild boars and confirmed they are most likely domesticated pigs that found a way out of their enclosure.
The statement said, despite the escaped pigs having a similar appearance to wild boars to those with untrained eyes, there have been no reports of feral pigs or wild boars in the Cowichan Valley submitted to the Conservation Officer Service or through the Report Invasives smartphone app or invasive species reporting webpage.
“Provincial government staff have been investigating areas with historical and recent reports of feral pigs but, to date, no breeding populations have been identified in B.C.,” the ministry said.
“Isolated occurrences of confirmed sightings are dealt with on a case-by-case basis through the Conservation Officer Service, regional biologists, B.C.’s invasive fauna specialists and, in most cases, the pigs’ owners. Any sightings of feral pigs should be reported immediately, either through the Report Invasives smartphone app or online at www.gov.bc.ca/invasive-species.”