Owner of wild pigs on the loose asking for tips for their safe return
The preserve where the wild pigs escaped is on Mush Dahl Road in West Penn Township. COPYRIGHT LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
The owner of a group of wild pigs that remains on the loose after breaking free from his West Penn Township preserve is asking for tips for their safe return.
Michael Comisac, who lives in a trailer at 232 Mush Dahl Road, said eight of his pigs got loose nearly two weeks ago. One of the pigs was shot by a person who works for the Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, he said.
“I had the pigs sold and I put them in an enclosure down at my barn, and somehow they ripped a board off, and they went through a fence,” Comisac said. “We had it secured pretty good, I thought.”
Comisac added, “They were rooting around and tore the bottom board off and out they went.
“I think it was because where they were originally, it was very quiet, no noise or anything like that, and then when they got to a new place, they felt more confined,” he said. “Obviously when I put them out there, I didn’t think they could get out.”
State game Warden Joel Gibble described the pigs as dark colored, and weighing over 200 pounds each. The agency is working in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services based in Harrisburg to get the pigs corralled.
Comisac said that if the cold weather stays and it snows, it would be easier to draw the pigs back because they wouldn’t have access to food.
“They need more food, and we have bait piles in the area where they’re at,” he said. “If the pigs are left alone, in a short time, they’ll be back in.”
Comisac added, “Right now, those pigs are in heaven, they’re out, they can go anywhere they want, there’s no restrictions. But when they get hungry, they’re going to go back to where they know the food is.
“If everybody could just possibly have a little patience, I think everything will be back, they’ll be back again,” he said. “I’ll never have pigs again. I’m trying to sell the property.”
Comisac, 69, said he has lymphoma.
“I’m just trying to sell all the animals,” he said, adding if he hadn’t sold the pigs, they wouldn’t have been moved to the enclosure where they escaped.
Comisac added, “I have a tremendous amount of money in these animals.”
“Since I got cancer, I couldn’t promote the (Big Oak Whitetail Ranch hunting preserve) business,” he said. “One way or the other, these pigs in a very short time aren’t going to be in Schuylkill County.”
Comisac said he has about 100 sheep, some deer and elk, peacocks, geese and one pig that is sold, on his preserve, which has been for sale for several years.
“I have no intention of having any more pigs,” he said.
Comisac asked anyone who spots the pigs to call his cellphone at 570-449-6838.
“If the person would give us information that would result in me safely getting the animals back and sell them, I would pay up to $100 per animal,” he said. “Not if the animals are found and shot.”
Comisac said family members, neighbors and acquaintances have been helping him search.
“Nobody wants those pigs safe again more than I do,” he said. “My neighbors and my friends have been so great that it ain’t even funny.”
Comisac said he’s grateful for the support.
“Thank you, and I apologize for any inconvenience that may have happened,” he said. “We’re just trying to get through a difficult situation and make it better.”
Patricia Clifford lives right next to the enclosure.
“Since they got out, my horse has been so freaked out that I have almost been kicked every time I got to feed her,” Clifford said. “When I found out I looked up horses and pigs and found out that horses are terrified of pigs and llamas for some reason.”
Harris Glass, state director, U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services said the pigs can be “destructive,” can harbor diseases that can affect other hog operations, and can also cause humans harm.
“It’s a nasty animal to have out in the environment,” Glass said.
Glass urged anyone who has seen the pigs to call the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services at 866-487-3297, or the Pennsylvania Game Commission at 610-926-3136.