Wild Pigs in the Park

Joe Kegley, 2/20/04

Came across some wild pigs while kayaking Cedar Creek in the Congaree Swamp. The first hour of the trip downstream was very uneventful and I had resolved that the trip was going to be an outing for the sake of exercise. Muddy water, muddy shore, muddy tree trunks. No sight of any wildlife. I heard no sounds except for the occasional jet flying over. Then somewhere near Elder Lake (3.24 miles on my GPS, taking the canal shortcut), I saw an adult pig near the shore on the right. The swamp was in the state of a receding flood at this time so the shoreline was farther into the forest as opposed to paralleling the creek during non-flood periods. I headed to shore, knowing I would scare this pig but thinking there would probably be more.

Once on shore, taking pictures of the pigs was hit or miss. And mostly miss. They were constantly moving about feeding, weaving in and out among the trees. The adults were far warier of my presence than the juveniles. Any time an adult noticed me he/she immediately trotted away in the opposite direction. Any associated juveniles would then follow. My presence clearly wasn't appreciated. Within approximately 15 minutes, I had managed to scare away 3 different groups of pigs. When I came upon the last group of pigs, I decided to sit still and see if they would come to me. I positioned myself behind a tree, and with some hesitation, sat down in the mud. So much for my favorite pair of shorts. This worked. Four piglets eventually started heading in my direction while foraging. As they got closer, occasionally one would look straight at me. I found that as long as I was perfectly still the pig would eventually put his nose back into the ground. The piglets got about 15 feet away from me before they decided they had had enough and scurried away. Pig pictures were over and I was cold. Time to get back to the boat.

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Last modified: May 11, 2008 by Edward Kujawski (focs@mindspring.com)
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