A caretaker found dead outside a Texas home Sunday was fatally attacked by a pack of feral hogs, authorities said.
Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said at a Monday news conference that Christine Rollins, 59, of Liberty, was found dead in the front yard of a home in the southeastern Texas town of Anahuac, KPRC reported.
Rollins was the caretaker of an elderly couple who lived at the home, KHOU reported. When Rollins did not show up to the home at her normal time Sunday, the 84-year-old woman who lived at the home went outside and found her body between her vehicle and the front door, the television station reported.
"I don't want to go into detail," Hawthorne said at Monday's news conference. "But, in my 35 years, I will tell you it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.”
Hawthorne said Rollins' cause of death was ruled "exsanguination due to feral hog assault." by the Jefferson County medical examiner's office, KTRK reported.
Rollins suffered a severe head injury and several other injuries on her body consistent with animal bites, Hawthorne said. The death was ruled accidental, according to the coroner's office.
“The way it happened was just shocking,” Rollins’ son-in-law Tony Sandles Jr., told KPRC. “It was just a tragic way to find out she passed away. Her birthday is Christmas Day, she was supposed to be turning 60 so we were preparing to get ready for that day."
According to a study published in 2013 by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, only four fatal wild pig attacks have been reported in the United States, the Houston Chronicle reported. The study included data from a total of 412 wild pig attacks worldwide between 1825 and 2012, the newspaper reported.
According to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, feral hogs are "a dangerous, destructive, invasive species," The animals were first brought to North America in the 1500s by explorers and settlers as a source of food, the USDA said.
Hawthorne said wild hogs are a problem in the area, adding the Sheriff's Office has put out traps in an attempt to capture the animals, KHOU reported.
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