His Best Friend Was a 250-Pound Warthog. One Day, It Decided to Kill Him

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Texas Monthly.

By the age of thirty, a time when most people are just beginning to think about their mortality, Austin Riley had already conquered his fear of death. He’d come exceedingly close to dying on multiple occasions, including a few months before his first birthday, when doctors discovered a golf ball–size tumor growing inside his infant skull. He would go on to spend much of his childhood in and out of hospitals, enduring high-risk brain surgeries and grueling recoveries. Then, in his mid-twenties, he was nearly killed by a brain hemorrhage that arrived one night without warning, unleashing the worst pain he’d ever felt. He emerged from that experience reborn, feeling lucky to be alive and convinced that his life had been spared by God.

So as he sat in a pool of his own blood on a beautiful October evening in 2022, he couldn’t help but acknowledge the morbid absurdity of his current predicament. He’d spent decades conquering brain injuries only to be killed while doing mundane chores on his family’s 130-acre Hill Country ranch in Boerne. “After all I’d been through,” he said, “I just couldn’t believe that this was how it was going to end.”

As he slumped against a fence and his mangled body began to shut down, Austin’s mind went into overdrive. He thought about his girlfriend, Kennedy, whom he’d never get a chance to marry, and the children he’d never be able to raise. He thought about how much he loved his parents and how badly he wished he could thank them for the life they’d provided. He thought about the land stretched out before him, a rustic valley accentuated by crimson and amber foliage that seemed to glitter in the evening light, and realized it had never seemed more beautiful than it did in that moment.

But mostly, he thought about the animal that had just used its razor-sharp, seven-inch tusks to stab him at least fifteen times. The attack had shredded his lower body and filled his boots with blood, and then left gaping holes in his torso and neck. Had any other animal been responsible, Austin would’ve considered it a random attack. But this was a pet he’d trusted more than any other: his lovable, five-year-old warthog, Waylon.

It wasn’t just an attack, as far as Austin was concerned, but a murderous act of betrayal, one that shattered everything he thought he knew about the deep bond between man and pig. “For years, that animal trusted me everyday and I trusted him,” Austin said. “I put blood, sweat, and tears into his life, and he decided to kill me.”

They’re not pets. Feral hogs will kill you, folks.


Comments

  1. On February 19, 2024 at 4:53 am, WiscoDave said:

    I’m glad Klaus would never do that to me…

  2. On February 19, 2024 at 9:29 am, foot in the forest said:

    BACON and chops, a roast or two. You would need to be a few bricks short of a load to think anything else.

  3. On February 19, 2024 at 10:24 am, Longbow said:

    Cultural enrichment, anyone?

    Wake up.

  4. On February 19, 2024 at 4:33 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    Animals have deeply-ingrained instincts which are not entirely overcome or negated via training or habituation to humans. This is true even in the higher order mammalian vertebrates.

    Some readers may recall the incident experienced by the famous animal tamers Siegfried and Roy back in 2003. Roy was attacked by one of the tigers used in their exhibition and nearly died as a result of the incident, which left him permanently disabled in certain respects. He also suffered a stroke during or shortly after the incident.

    These are men who worked around these animals as their profession; they were not neophytes or beginners. Yet, the odds caught up with them finally, after years of working around lions and tigers, the instincts of one of them kicked in at the wrong time – and Roy (Horn) nearly paid for it with his life.

    There’s an important lesson in that misfortune, namely that no matter how tame you think an animal may be, it is still an animal with everything that entails.

    An acquaintance of mine years ago, was killed while out jogging in a remote area by a pit bull whose owners believed it to be tame. The unfortunate jogger was mauled and bled to death before he could reach help.

    Similarly, a cousin on my mom’s side of the family, an expert horsewoman, was killed many years ago after fracturing her skull upon being thrown from a horse.

    Keep your guard up, folks, when you are around wild animals – and even with the ones you believe to be tame and/or accustomed to humans. The life you save may be your own.

  5. On February 19, 2024 at 4:38 pm, Paul B said:

    The key is the word you chose to describe the furry friends. Animal. Every critter has a streak in them that can kill you. never drop your guard around Animals. And, yes, humans have some of the same problems.

  6. On February 19, 2024 at 5:05 pm, X said:

    Domesticated animals — dogs, cats, cattle, goats, sheep, horses — evolved to be separate species because they coexist with humans.

    A f–ing warthog is a wild animal. Not a “lovable pet.”

  7. On February 20, 2024 at 6:30 am, jrg said:

    Hell, one of my household kitty cats bit me and gave me a major skin infection that required hyperbaric oxygen therapy to finally eradicate. Weeping wounds that really looked ugly and required gauze and pressure bandage wraps. Took nearly six months to fix it, the first five requiring weekly cleanings with shaped scalpel (D shaped blade ? Hurt like the dickens when local anesthestic wore off). Damn insurance attempted to put off oxygen therapy until it was apparent the cleanings wouldn’t do the job. Several thousand out of pocket cost.

    All from just from a playful nip while running along side me. She is still there, maybe contemplating finishing the job, lol. The take-away Pro-Tip – CLEAN ALL WOUNDS CAUSED BY YOUR ANIMALS, ESPECIALLY IF TEETH OR CLAWS ARE INVOLVED.

  8. On February 21, 2024 at 11:18 pm, Steve Miller said:

    Only partially related – I found out the hard way when I first moved to my present house 22 years ago that I had nettles growing near the entrance to the kennel behind the house. I grew up on the other side (east side of WA) knowing nettles, how to identify them etc. Never did I suspect they would be here on the western part of the state. I had acquired two adult dogs half lab and half Sharpei. Upon coming home from work I went to let them out and into the house. Being summertime I was wearing shorts and brushed up against those durn nettles (that got ripped out shortly after this episode) and of course the sting was immense. I happened to recall that dog saliva eases the pain and voila – had the dog nearest me lick my wound and immediately the pain went away.

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You are currently reading "His Best Friend Was a 250-Pound Warthog. One Day, It Decided to Kill Him", entry #36438 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Animals and was published February 18th, 2024 by Herschel Smith.

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