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When pigs attack: Golfers injured after boars run amok on U.K. course

Tuesday, November 30th 2021, 9:26 pm - Two people received minor cuts after trying to 'shoo' the pigs away after they unexpectedly ran onto the golf course, causing a commotion for club officials and players.

Golfers can have a number of distractions during their round that can affect their play, but what about pigs running loose on the course? Well, this could certainly impact the scorecard.

While that's not a common occurrence, this is what happened at the Lightcliffe Golf Club in Yorkshire, England, recently. The sighting caused quite a disturbance for the players and club staff. In fact, two people were injured while trying to scare them away.

SEE ALSO: Wild pigs seen roaming Ontario city, but government is on their tails

Club president Philip Marshall told CNN Sport it "don't know where they came from," but recalls they first surfaced on the course on Sunday, Nov. 21.

"One of our golfers saw these pigs on the course and tried to shoo them off and he sustained a cut on his leg and had to go to A&E for a shot," said Marshall. "And they disappeared then, so we thought they'd gone."

Wild pigs on U.K. golf course/Lightcliffe Golf Club/Facebook (David Mckidd/Lightcliffe Golf Club/Facebook)

Marshall said they reappeared on Tuesday, Nov. 23, and tore up the 18th green and the first tee. This is when a club official attempted to "shoo" one of the animals off and was injured in the process.

"Our head green's director tried to shoo one of them off and it turned on him and it cut his leg. So he had to go and have a tetanus jab, but he's fine. And he actually had a hole-in-one this [Thursday] morning. So no ill-effects to him at all then," said Marshall.

The club president stated the injuries were just minor cuts, but both people did go to the hospital as a precaution since the injuries were caused by a wild animal.

Because the club members were unable to round up the pigs, Marshall contacted the police and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Gathering the pigs was outside of the police's jurisdiction and the RSPCA told Marshall it would come when it was able to but "were very overstretched."

Wild pigs on U.K. golf course/Lightcliffe Golf Club (David Mckidd/Lightcliffe Golf Club/Facebook)

"What happened was I was there for most of the day until dusk, and we'd managed to lead them to the far corner of the course," said Marshall. "So, we got them to the corner of the course and left them there. We couldn't approach them, we closed the course because they're obviously dangerous."

The pigs then returned on Tuesday, surfacing on the side road beside the golf club, Marshall said, noting they were then captured there and taken away. "We don't know where they're from or what's happened to them," Marshall added.

WILD PIGS ARE SIGNIFICANT ECOLOGICAL, AGRICULTURAL ISSUE IN CANADA, U.S.

In Canada and the United States, the wild pigs -- an invasive species -- are a serious environmental and agricultural problem, and have been called an "ecological train wreck." In particular, the animals have become quite the nuisance in B.C., Saskatchewan and Ontario in recent months.

Last month, a sounder of wild pigs was spotted in Pickering, Ont. This prompted the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF) to set up one trap. It may establish more if there is evidence of the pigs frequenting another area. The ministry believes there is evidence of 14 boars in this particular sounder.

Pickering wild pigs/Ryan Johnstone The NDMNRF has found evidence of approximately 14 wild pigs in a sounder that was spotted in Pickering, Ont., in November. (Ryan Johnstone via Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF)

"The NDMNRF wild pig team have set up a live trap with bait to draw the pigs in. This may take some time, as there are still many food options with crop fields in the area. No pigs have been caught, yet," said Morgan Kerekes, NDMNRF media and issues advisor in an email to The Weather Network on Friday, Nov. 19.

At this time, there is no firm evidence to suggest wild pigs are established in Ontario, but sightings of them continue to be submitted --- an indication they could become established unless continued actions are taken, Kerekes said.

In a previous interview with The Weather Network in March 2021, Erin Koen, a scientist formerly of the NDMNRF, said they have been called an "ecological train wreck" due to trampling, wallowing and rooting in sensitive habitats, and the major damage they can cause to farmlands and stored crops.

As for the Lightcliffe Golf Club, which was closed for a short period during the incident, it offered an incentive for players who signed up for a round. "Anybody who books online and comes and plays, we're offering a free bacon sandwich," Marshall said.

Thumbnail courtesy of David Mckidd/Lightcliffe Golf Club/Facebook.

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