KISSIMMEE, Fla. – It started with a little patch of torn up grass in Kel Young’s backyard. Within a week, there was barely any grass left because wild boars kept digging through his Southport Bay neighborhood near Poinciana.
“They came here every night, literally, and ripped this apart,” Young said. “I’ve lived here since 2008 and this is the first time this has happened.”
Young said it began the Sunday before Thanksgiving and within a week his entire backyard had been destroyed. Young set up a motion-sensor camera in his backyard that showed eight to 10 boars digging away.
“This is what they’ve done last night,” Young said while pointing at the hundreds of holes around the lake behind his home. “This is out of hand.”
The boars have since moved to tearing up the grass at his neighbor’s home and an adjacent to a sidewalk that connects to a wooded area.
Young said the area is near a bus stop.
[SEE PHOTOS OF DAMAGE CAUSED BY BOARS IN GALLERY BELOW]
Boars have been damaging Kel Young's yard in Kissimmee.
"We need to trap them or get rid of them as soon as possible," he said. "What's going to happen is someone is going to get hurt and it's going to be too late."
Just last month, a 200-pound boar mauled a veteran trapper in Melbourne.
Young said he has called the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Osceola County Commission, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and his HOA, the Southport Bay Homeowners Association. He said deputies and wildlife officials told him he’s allowed to shoot and kill the boars because they are nuisance animals.
Young, a Marine veteran, knows he doesn’t have a lot of room to be firing off rounds in the middle of the night.
“So everyone is telling me to shoot them, shoot them, shoot them,” Young said. “I don’t mind, but I don’t want to be walking in the neighborhood or off of my property with a loaded rifle that puts me in a bad situation.”
The other option, FWC said, is for Young to hire a professional trapper. Young said he has called eight of them and only one returned his call, with a quote of $3,500-$4,000 to trap them.
Since the boars are now tearing up the corner of the block, he’s hoping the Southport Bay HOA can come up with a solution. News 6 called the HOA but has not yet heard back.
Osceola County officials confirmed there was nothing they could do either.
"I’m not sure who he might have spoken to at the county, but he is correct, Animal Services does not trap wild animals,” said Mark Pino, a spokesman for the county.