Selected Articles from our
The C.A.S.H. Courier
ARTICLE from the Fall 2008 Issue
Hunting in Paradise? The Death of a Wild Pig in Hawaii
By Cathy Goeggel
We found her within 50 feet of a public road, her face contorted in the
death rictus of one who died an agonizing death. One of her teeth was
embedded in her hoof as she had tried to chew off the snare. It was obvious
that she had suffered intensely.
Hawaii’s dark side - the one that never shows up on travel posters or in
glossy brochures - is the treatment of their so called “alien species.”
These wild animals are routinely snared, trapped, speared, hunted with dogs,
poisoned on the ground and from the air, burned, shot with bows and arrows,
and gunned down from helicopters.
The snares used in Hawai’i now are cable, much thicker than the plain wire
ones used in earlier years. They are still cheap, approximately $14 for 100
feet, and are rarely checked. They are simply deployed and left.
Animals who stumble into them will suffer for hours and even days before
dying, and of course, the snares will catch any animal who has the
misfortune to stumble into them: dogs, cats, deer, sheep, goats...The snares
are set throughout the islands—on state and federal lands as well as private
property. In fact, it is state law that the government can enter private
property to seize and destroy plants and animals that are deemed invasive,
alien, and dangerous either to the ecosystem or agriculture.
We ask that people concerned about this do two things:
Contact our governor and our tourism department and let them know that you
will not consider Hawaii as a visitor destination until the snares are
The Honorable Linda Lingle
Governor, State of Hawai’i
Phone: 808 586-0034
Fax: 808 586-0006
email: [email protected]
Hawaii Tourism Authority
Telephone: (808) 973-2255
Fax: (808) 973-2253
There is currently no director for the HI Tourism Authority- the last
director was forced to resign after the discovery that he was using his
state computer to forward racist and sexist e-mails.
After Cathy sent the article above, we asked her for more information about
hunting in Hawaii. This is what she wrote: Hunting is allowed only in public
hunting areas (state or federal property) or private lands (Nature
Conservancy and other landowners). DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife
has a dual role: to promote sport hunting and to protect native species.
Their goal is not to eradicate all the pigs, but to remove them from
sensitive areas (native plants) and where they are a nuisance to residents.
However, the pigs are very fecund and are very good at surviving, especially
at high elevations. They usually stay in the mountains, coming close to
human habitation when there is a shortage of water.
Some hunters may be releasing young pigs back into the forest, but that is
illegal . We have no numbers on any of the DOFAW activities. I have
attempted to access body counts, but have not been successful.
The local pig hunters, who hunt with dogs and use spears and knives, are
known to ignore the regulations. They consider the pigs to be theirs,
because of their Hawaiian heritage. They take great pride in bringing home a
large pig—often splayed across the hood of their trucks. Since pig hunting
is allowed twice a week on some popular hiking trails, there have been
confrontations, and now the hunters are demanding that hiking be
The local pig hunters do not like unattended snares, because they waste the
meat. Some hunters use leg snares, but they usually stay by them, and
dispatch the pig by knife.
The snared pigs die from infection, exposure, strangulation (if caught
around their necks), or blood loss from stab wounds.
Cathy Goeggel is the Director of Animal Rights Hawaii.
Please visit www.Animalrightshawaii.org .