Two hikers who climbed a tree to escape what they thought was a wild pig were embarrassed to be told by police the growling noises that had frightened them were in fact passing cars.
A woman walking in Government Canyon State Park in Texas called 911 to report that “an animal had been following and growling at her”, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), and that she had climbed a tree to escape.
When a nearby officer called her mobile to tell her help was coming, she “urged him to please hurry because an animal she believed to be a wild pig was nearby and growling”.
The officer tracked her down using her iPhone location, and found her and a man up a tree – but no sign of a hog.
TPWD said: “She warned the officer that the pig was still close by and she heard it just a few minutes before he arrived.
“Shortly after that, the officer heard a car drive over the rumble strips nearby on Galm Road and watched as the woman’s body language immediately changed.
“The officer asked if they believed the noise they just heard was a pig and both nodded. He explained it was only cars crossing rumble strips on the road nearby.
“Embarrassed by the misperceived threat, the lost hikers were reassured by the officer that the unknown can be scary and their reaction surprisingly common.”
There are estimated to be as many as two million wild pigs in Texas, roughly half of the population of the animal in the United States.