Officials kill wild hog trying to get onto runway at Will Rogers World Airport

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OKLAHOMA CITY - It was  an unusual scene at Will Rogers World Airport on Tuesday afternoon.

Wildlife officials had to chase down a feral hog that had dug its way under a fence and onto airport property near a runway.

"The kind of damage an animal like that can do to an aircraft and to its safety devices and its landing gear, it just poses a risk for us,” said Josh Ryan, with the City of Oklahoma City, Airports Public Information and Marketing.

The airport has a wildlife mitigation team with biologists from the United States Department of Agriculture. Those biologists had been tracking the hog for several days.

"It's behavior was to get back on to the airfield. There's something about the airfield that it wanted to seek out, and we can't have that,” said Ryan.

"The damage that they can do to planes can be pretty significant,” said Tanya Espinosa, Public Affairs Specialist for the USDA.

The USDA takes care of wildlife mitigation at airports across the country.

Feral hogs are one of the mammals they take very seriously.

"Because they're so solid and also because once they get used to people, they get pretty aggressive,” said Espinosa.

The biologists ultimately had to shoot and kill the hog because they couldn’t take the chance of it coming back.

"Maybe it came onto the runway at night or something like that. That poses a major risk for us that is really unacceptable,” said Ryan.

This is the first time they’ve had to deal with a feral hog at Will Rogers World Airport.

"That is a life threatening issue for us because we have passengers on aircraft that are coming in to land on the airfield, and they don't expect, the pilots, the airlines, don't expect there to be obstructions on the airfield,” said Ryan.

It’s a problem they hope they don’t have to deal with again.

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