April 16 (UPI) — Wildlife officials in Florida said an African warthog captured after several days on the loose was friendly toward people and was likely an escaped pet.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the unusual animal was first reported March 4 in Lakewood Park, near Fort Pierce in St. Lucie County.
Residents told FWC officials the warthog was friendly to people when offered food, but spokeswoman Carol Lyn Parrish said officials were concerned about the pig’s potential to carry diseases dangerous to local wildlife.
Parrish said no one in the area has a license to own an African warthog.
“We couldn’t locate the owner,” Parrish told TCPalm.com.
FWC trappers were unable to locate the warthog March 5 and the animal managed to steal the food from a bait trap placed March 8 without being ensnared.
FWC Officer Bradley Toby was eventually able to wrestle with the warthog while a biologist maneuvered it into a trap.
The animal was euthanized.
“Because of its unknown source, staff were concerned about disease transmission,” Parrish said.