EAST BRADENTON -- Wild hogs are finding themselves on a crash course with civilization at the intersection of 26th Avenue East and 27th Street East near Mixon Fruit Farms.
"There were a whole bunch of small hogs out in the pasture as I drove by the regular farm gate," said neighbor Sandy LaDuke. "I saw them coming back when I drove by a little while later. This morning one was killed. Somebody had hit it with a car."
The property from which the pigs are straying is owned by Metro Development, a Tampa company, but it is currently being used by rancher Lee Sly, who has about 25 head of cattle on the land.
Dean Mixon, owner of Mixon Fruit Farms, hadn't seem them but suggested the hogs might have come from a nearby hammock.
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"I don't know where it came from," Sly said. "I've got pastures on both sides of U.S. 301 at 38th Avenue and there's been one over there, too. And a coyote was just killed over there by a car on U.S. 301 that I've been trying to get for a long time."
A native to Manatee County and graduate of Southeast High, Sly sells his cattle for organic, grass-finished beef.
Although Sly hasn't seen the pigs that were recently reported, he said, "I'd just shoot the thing if I saw him over there."
Neither Manatee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dave Bristow nor Bradenton Deputy Police Chief Warren Merriman received traffic reports about the incident. However, LaDuke and her neighbor Tray Thorpe observed about six pigs running back and forth across the main road and called numerous agencies after seeing the one dead pig in the road.
"Nobody seems to want to handle it," LaDuke said. "There were six of them. All night long they're running. They're just running back and forth across the main road. They're going to get killed or somebody's going to get hurt because they're about half grown and about a hundred pounds apiece or more."
Dee Graham, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411, ext. 7024 or tweet@DeeGrahamBH.