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Neighbors blame drained reservoir for influx of destructive wild pigs

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Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Residents of a California county said a dam repair project that drained a 7-mile-long reservoir has allowed destructive wild pigs to invade their neighborhoods.

Santa Clara County locals said wild pigs have long been a problem in the area, but the draining of the Anderson Reservoir for a dam repair project has allowed large numbers of the animals to invade neighborhoods in Morgan Hill and the San Jose area, and they destroy landscaping.

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Four residents in the Jackson Oaks and Holiday Lake Estates neighborhoods attempted to bill the Santa Clara Valley Water District about $20,000 for the damage the pigs have caused to their properties, but the request was declined.

Valley Water officials said the reservoir is not to blame for the influx of hogs.

"We haven't seen any evidence of that. I can understand why the neighbors are frustrated, but there is a wild pig issue in Morgan Hill, in San Jose and all over Santa Clara County," Valley Water spokesman Matt Keller told KPIX-TV.

Residents said the reservoir formed a 7-mile long barrier that kept the pigs at bay until it was drained in late 2020. They said scattered incidents of destructive hogs in the area occurred before, but draining the water has allowed larger numbers of the animals to cross.

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"I've lived here for four years and never had a problem with wild pigs until they drained Anderson Reservoir," Morgan Hill resident Roga Gabucan told the San Jose Mercury News.

"My neighbor has been here 45 years and never seen them until now. I really don't know what to do. I want my grass back, but I'm afraid the pigs might come back."

The wild pigs are considered a non-native species. They are descended from domestic pigs that bred with Russian boars brought to California by Canadian millionaire George Gordon Moore in the 1920s.

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