CUSTER, S.D. — A possible stray pet caused a good bit of commotion in South Dakota’s iconic Custer State Park last weekend.
CSP staff began receiving reports of a pig near the Black Hills Playhouse on Saturday, June 8, near Center Lake. Park rangers were dispatched and quickly found the animal. CSP staff was unable to capture the animal, but were able to determine that is was a pot-bellied pig, not a feral hog.
CSP staff members were able to finally capture the pig near the Black Hills Playhouse. It was taken to the Hot Springs Humane Society where it was identified as a castrated male, pot-bellied pig.
“Pot-bellied pigs are popular pets,” said Custer State Park and GFP regional parks supervisor Matt Snyder. “When staff first saw the animal, they were able to get within 20 feet of it and were able to see that it likely wasn’t a feral hog. At that point we wanted to capture the pig and possibly reunite it with its owner.”
While this may seem strange and innocent enough, pigs — especially feral hogs — can mean problems. Across the country, feral hogs have become a big nuisance, taking over and destroying large amounts of habitat. Feral hogs have been found in nearby states and Canadian provinces, including north central North Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.
While this is considered an isolated incident, Custer State Park staff would like to remind visitors that if they have a pet on the loose, they should inform staff immediately.