Feral hogs attacked and killed a woman outside a Texas home about 40 miles east of Houston, authorities said Monday.
Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said Christine Rollins appeared to have arrived at her normal time of 6 a.m. Sunday to care for an elderly couple in the town of Anahuac.
When the 59-year-old didn't come to the house, one of the homeowners went outside and found her in the front yard between her car and the front door.
Hawthorne said Rollins had a severe head wound and several other injuries consistent with animal bites. On Monday, the coroner in neighboring Jefferson County ruled the cause of death “exsanguination due to feral hog assault,” meaning she bled to death after the attack.
Hawthorne said authorities could tell she was attacked by multiple animals because of the different bite sizes.
"In my 35 years, it's one of the worst things I've ever seen," he said, adding that attacks are rare.
"What little research we’ve found, less than six have been reported in the nation,” Hawthorne said. “I don’t know how many we have in Texas, but I hope we never have another in Chambers County.”
Hawthorne said it was dark when Rollins arrived at the house, which sits on about 10 or 12 acres of pasture and woods.
"Obviously, the feral hogs have taken over some of their family land," he said.
There are at least 2 million feral hogs roaming Texas, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. That's about half the entire population in the U.S.
Wildlife specialists say attacks on humans are rare and the best advice is to walk away from them.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.