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The C.A.S.H. Courier

ARTICLE from the Spring 2009 Issue

Hunters Kill Keller The Blind Pig

By Cathy Goeggel

Keller, named by his human companions after Helen Keller, was a blind pet pig. In late April, he was snoozing in the afternoon sun at the Hawaii Animal Sanctuary on O’ahu, when a truck with several dogs in the back pulled up. The “hunters” loosed the dogs who tore into the gentle pig, and then Keller was stabbed to death in front of the sanctuary founder, Gina Lay.


Keller with Stab Wounds

Hawaii Animal Sanctuary cares for abandoned and terminally ill animals and is located on a public street in a mixed agricultural/residential neighborhood. The property is clearly signed as private property and is posted. Keller had only known kindness all of his years, so he didn’t even try to get away. Gina Lay reported how devastated she and co-founder Gary Weller were. She said that one of the dogs on their property tried to protect Keller, his friend, but couldn’t defend against a pack of dogs. Weller said that this was not the first time that hunters had killed a pet pig on their property. Several years before, a pack of hunting dogs chased another pig under Weller’s house and when he went outside to intervene, a hunter ducked under the house and killed the pig with a knife and ran away!

Neighbors, including an off duty police officer rushed to the scene, and the killer was apprehended by the officer as he attempted to take Keller’s corpse to the truck. Other police officers arrived at the scene, but did not want to arrest the killer- they felt it was a minor offense! They did finally arrest the man for illegally hunting; he was freed on $100.00 bail. No charges were laid for trespass, cruelty to animals or leash or license violations.

Sadly, this is not rare in Hawaii, where feral animals are demonized and are treated with cruelty that defies comprehension.

On May 1, 2009, a Rock Wallaby was brought to the Honolulu Zoo Veterinary Hospital with a snare deeply embedded in his leg. The wound was so severe that the animal was euthanized. Wallabies have lived in the mountains of O’ahu for nearly 100 years, and are “protected” by the State, which did not protect the Wallaby from unattended snares which are deployed throughout Hawaii.

On May 2, 2009 we received a complaint that the corpse of a feral pig with a snare about her neck, was found on a beach on Oahu. Feral Pigs are snared and killed as reported by Cathy Goeggel in a previous issue of the C.A.S.H. Courier. According to an employee at Kuli’ou’ou Park, pigs are washed downstream and onto the beaches. Here’s one very sad photo of a pig who had been caught in a snare whose body then washed down to the beach.

I asked Cathy to explain how this could happen, and she replied:

Snaring is done almost exclusively to kill non native animals. Snares are deployed by TNC, the feds and DLNR and are never checked. Hunters rarely use snares because 1. their dogs can get caught (and often do) and 2. they would have to check the snares daily or the meat would rot. Pig hunters use packs of dogs that chase down the pig and rip the pig apart- the hunter then stabs the pig to death with a knife, machete or spear.

We have lots of streams that bring water from the mountains to the sea. When the rains are heavy, the water rises and carries tree trunks, branches dead bodies- anything that will float. The snares are deployed along pig trails and are frequently near a water source so the pigs are caught when they come to drink. They would be long dead by the time they reach the beach- from the snares, not drowning.


Feral Pig Washed Up On Beach

You can help the feral animals of Hawaii by contacting the State Tourism office. Tell them that you will NOT visit Hawaii until the war on feral animals ends. If you do visit, please also visit their office to protest the killing of wildlife on the islands.

info@hawaiitourismauthority.org .
Hawaii Tourism Authority
1801 Kala’kaua Ave., 1st Floor
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96815
Telephone: (808) 973-2255
Fax: (808) 973-2253
For more information on the plight of animals in Hawai’i, visit: www.animalrightshawaii.org 
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Cathy Goeggel is the Founder and President of Animal Rights Hawaii. www.animalrightshawaii.org/  .

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