Christine Rollins was a 59-year-old woman who was attacked and killed by a pack of feral hogs in Anahuac, Texas. She was at her job as a home healthcare worker for an elderly couple who live at the house on State Highway 61 in Anahuac, which is about 50 miles east of Houston.
It isn’t clear how the attack happened and whether Rollins fell first and then was set on by the wild hogs, the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page. “At this time detectives are unable to determine if she collapsed due to a medical condition and the fall caused the head injury, or if the animals may have caused the fall and contributed to her death,” the sheriff’s office said.
Her cause of death was officially ruled as “exsanguination due to feral hog assault.”
It appeared that Rollins suffered some kind of animal bites and had severe blood loss, according to KHOU11, a CBS News affiliate. Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne told the station, “I don’t want to go into detail, but, in my 35 years, I will tell you it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.”
Hawthorne told reporters that the scene was so bad when deputies arrived they initially thought a crime had occurred.
Here’s what you need to know:
Christine Rollins Was a Home Health Worker for a Couple in Anahuac, Texas, Who Suffer from Dementia & Alzheimer’s
Christine Rollins cared for an elderly couple. Both the husband and wife need around the clock care, according to ABC13. The husband and wife suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The couple have three caretakers of which Rollins is one.
She was due to come to the home of the elderly couple on Sunday but when she didn’t show up, the owner of the home, 84, went outside. The homeowner found Rollins on the ground between the front door of the house and her car, the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page.
“When deputies arrived they found Rollins deceased, with multiple injuries to her body. It appears that she has an injury to her head that is consistent with a fall, but she also has numerous injuries that appear to be animal related,” the sheriff’s office said. “Chambers County Justice of the Peace Pct 1, Yale Devillier, is doing an inquest and has ordered a forensic autopsy to assist in determining cause of death.”
Sheriff Brian Hawthorne added, “At this time detectives are unable to determine if she collapsed due to a medical condition and the fall caused the head injury, or if the animals may have caused the fall and contributed to her death. But, at this time, we have no reason to believe that there is any foul play involved in her death.”
Rollins Family Says She Is Survived by Her Daughter & 2 Grandchildren
Rollins, of Liberty, Texas, is survived by her adult daughter and two grandchildren. Her grandson, Marcus Sandles, wrote on Facebook, “Why my granny just why i just want you back
#resteasy maw maw i love you ??”
He added, “On Be half of me and my love ones … We want everyone to know that my Granny was not murdered. The loss of her life was due to a fatal accident. Please keep us all uplifted in prayer.”
Rollins would have turned 60 on Christmas day.
She Was a Big Fan of the San Francisco 49ers & the Houston Rockets & Dedicated Her Life to Helping Others, Her Family Says
Family members told KTRK-TV that Christine Rollins was a big fan of the San Francisco 49ers football team and the Houston Rockets basketball team.
Rollins family said she dedicated her life to helping people and was a hard worker who spent hours helping the couple who she was caring for.
Her grandson wrote on Facebook, “My heart my pride and my joy. This have got to be the hardest day of my life. I’m go miss the talks and phone calls and having parties on the porch. I love you maw maw this is a hard pill to swallow I prayed all the way to you hoping that it wasn’t true you was gone i love you ???? I’ll do anything anything in this world to still have you here.”
Rollins’ granddaughter wrote on Facebook, “I lost a piece of my heart and my actual bestfriend today. Lord knows I wish I could have you back right at this second. I’m going to miss our nightly FaceTime calls like believe it or not y’all she learned her phone and would FaceTime me back ? . I love her so much, and I promise I’m going to forever make you happy as I was always doing! You stayed telling me you were so proud of me. I promise to you I’m going to make every dream come true that I told you about . I love you maw maw forever and always ❤️ !!!”
Neighbors Say When Feral Hogs in the Area Feel Threatened, They Will Come After People
Neighbors told KTRK-TV they have complained about wild hogs in the area in the past.
“As soon as I seen the news report on that, my heart goes out to the family. A loss like that, no one needs to have to go through,” “Cajun Bob” Thornberry told the news station. “If you walk up on a bunch of these hogs, don’t try to run because they can outrun you. Try to get close to a tree and if you can’t get close to a tree, at least carry a gun with you.” He said if they are threatened, they will attack.
Neighbor David Bennett told the news station, “We’ve got individuals that hunt hogs with dogs. They put Kevlar on these dogs for a purpose because those hogs are vicious. And when they feel threatened, they’re coming after you.”
Feral Hogs are an Invasive Species in the Southwest, but Attacks on Humans Are Rare
Feral swine first made an appearance in the U.S. back in the 1500s and then mulitple times afterward, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are considered an invasive species, which means they are “an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health,” as defined on the USDA site.
They can be found throughout Texas, but especially in the East, South and Central parts of the state, according to a Texas government website. Wild hogs or feral hogs or pigs are a real problem for much of the Southwest. There are about 1.5 million feral hogs in Texas.
The authority on feral pigs or hogs is Dr. Jack Mayer, a research scientist and manager at the Savannah River National Laboratory in Aiken, South Carolina, according to the USDA Cooperative Extension. He has been studying these animals for many years and he is the senior author of a comprehensive book about their behavior, history, control and other subjects. As he told FoxCarolina.com, people studying feral pigs in the 1970s believed that the population was stable and possibly even declining. “…just the opposite happened. Nobody expected it and nobody was ready for it and nobody had any answers.”
While human fatalities caused by the feral animals are not common, they can cause much damage to property and farmland. Dogs are used to hunt the feral pigs, which can have razor-sharp tusks. The dogs must wear special Kevlar vests so they don’t get injured when tracking down the wild animals.
According to Jennifer Shike, editor of Farm Journal’s Pork, while attacks on humans are rare, “… if wild pigs feel like they are threatened or trapped, they can attack and they are very powerful and very dangerous.” Shike said that this attack in Texas is also a sign that the wild pig problem is on the rise if they’re increasingly coming into suburban and urban areas. There are about 6-million wild pigs in the U.S., according to the Farm Journal publication.
The 2018 Farm Bill provides $75 million for the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program. As Shike says. “That money is already being shipped to states to help with population control.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that the funding will be used for “the eradication and control of feral swine…to help address the threat that feral swine pose to agriculture, ecosystems and human and animal health.”
Sheriff Hawthorne told reporters, “This is a very rare incident. What little research we’ve found, less than six have been reported in the nation. I don’t know how many we have in Texas, but I hope we never have another in Chambers County.”
Anahuac was established in 1831 and the earliest inhabitants were members of the Karwankara. On the Area Chamber of Commerce website, it says Anahuac offers, “Small Town Charm within Driving Distance of the Big City.”
The rural town is on the edge of Trinity Bay and alligators outnumber people about three-to-one. In 2008 Hurricane Ike slammed the region and the annual Texas GatorFest had to be canceled, as reported by NBC News. The event attracts upwards of 30,000 people, which is about ten times the population of the town.
The area has freshwater and saltwater fishing, and boating and there are many nature preserves to visit as well.
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