The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Port Arthur's Renaissance Group has gone high tech in its efforts to thwart wild hogs who are posing a major roadblock to the restoration of The Palms at Pleasure Island. With attempts to kill the packs of hogs who dig up chunks of the golf course having mimimal success, the Renaissance Group invested in a huge corral/trap that's tied into a remote control device at the Port Arthur police station. Police can monitor activity in the corral and when they see enough hogs inside, push a bottom that drops the door on the corral.
Once the hogs are trapped, they will be shot and fed to alligators.
"It should really help eliminate the problem we're having," said Palms superintendent Bryan Jackson. "The corral is about 40 to 50 feet in diameter. What they do is put corn in there and let the hogs go in there and eat. They want to get them used to feeding in the corral.
"When there are hogs in the corral, it sends a signal to the police station. They can look at a camera and see how many hogs are in there. At some point, they press a button and drop the gate. That has not been done yet. They want to get the hogs comfortable with going in there.”
Ironically, about the time the trap was up and running, hog attacks slowed down. Jackson said there hasn't been hog damage in the past 10 days. But he knows they will be back at some point.
"We've killed 20 or more in the past couple of weeks, but that's just a drop in the bucket," he said. "We just can't afford to let them keep coming over and tearing things up. It's imperative that we eliminate them. That's why the investment was made in the corral."
In the meantime, Jackson's crews continue to do everything they can to have The Palms in pristine condition when it re-opens next spring. The latest step is getting the irrigation system up and running.
"It's working fine," said Jackson. "We fired it up Monday and it worked the way it's supposed to. We had full pressure. It's encouraging and it's exciting. This place is really going to be something when we get it reopened."
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