A wild boar has sparked terror at a small beach settlement in North Canterbury, with authorities mounting an elaborate search after young men reported an unfortunate hog encounter.
Connor Oberndorfer, 22, and Jack Robertson, 17, say they were foraging for huhu grubs to use as fishing bait near the entry to Pines Beach when they heard a strange sound in the pine plantation.
"We heard like a grunting, and it wasn't happy," the pair told 1 NEWS today.
"We turned around and there was just a big boar standing there.
"It probably wasn't the best thing to do, but we just ran, just ran, and we had no idea where we were going, what we were doing, we just ran straight until we found the path."
They say the animal was definitely not "a little pink farm pig" and was big, black and grey, covered in hair, with a hump in its back and tusks coming out of its mouth.
The land is managed by the local Te Kōhaka o Tūhaitara Trust, who were taking no chances today, and sent their rangers out to search for the wild animal.
General manager Greg Brynes says they are installing hidden field cameras in the hope they'll get a sighting of the animal and be able to take steps to address the problem.
"I had a local councillor call me, it would be fair to say, slightly flustered, and it was, 'there's a pig in the park, it's attacked someone'," he says.
"We don't want anyone storming the park with a gun, with a bit of a bloodlust, it doesn't go down very well."
The incident played out just 50 metres from a busy beach accessway and those headed down for a swim today were a little apprehensive at the news, with one woman remarking "you never know when you're being watched".
Meanwhile, Connor and Jack say they won't be making any huhu grub trips any time soon.
"I was scared for my life, more scared for his life, because I'm supposed to be responsible for him," the older Connor said.
"What do I do, I tell his Dad, oh, 'your son just got mangled by a pig in the forest'?
"It's not the most comfortable feeling knowing it could still be here."
During the interview, a strange sound unsettled both young men in the forest.
"What the f*** was that," Connor said, looking clearly startled.
"I'm not even kidding, this is me freaking out, the f**king trees are moving."
When it was found to just be a bird, the pair were able to retreat back to the public carpark and the safety of home.
While the Trust has had no sign of the pig yet, they say they'll continue their search as long as is needed.
In the meantime, they're appealing for hunters to keep their guns, dogs and knives away from what is a public area. They say the police will be called in if there are any breaches.
The pig is proving a tricky customer for now, able to evade all of their surveillance operations to date.