The United States is on the verge of a massive ‘time bomb’ for pigs, with wild boars growing in massive numbers.
Research scientist Dr. Jack Mayer, a zoologist who has been researching feral pigs for 40 years, has warned that the population could continue to grow unless there is a sudden swine flu epidemic.
“It’s a crazy situation with everything that happened in what I call the pig bomb exploded in North America,” said Jack Mayer. The everyday beast about the wild population of six million and two million in Texas alone.
Florida, Georgia and California also have huge populations.
Wild boars dig up farms and eat livestock as states fight to control the population
“There is no other animal that can put feet on the ground faster than a wild pig.”
Mayer blames global warming for increasing the survival rate of newborn piglets and producing more acorns, bulbs, roots and tubers they can eat.
They can reproduce after just three months and do this twice a year.
California and Texas have also encouraged recreational hunting as a way to reduce their swine population, but even if three-quarters of the population is killed, they could return to full population within three years.
A researcher at the Savannah River National Laboratory South Carolina warned of their reproductive speed: ‘There is no other animal that can put little feet on the ground faster than a wild pig’
Jack Mayer (left), author of Wild Pigs in the United States (right), has warned of a ‘pig bomb’ more dangerous than sharks. He blames global warming on increasing the survival chances of piglets
In the entire U.S. as a whole, I think there are currently as many as nine million feral pigs in 39 states and they are growing at a rate of 35,000 square miles per year.
“I’ve heard it’s referred to as a wild pig bomb,” said Dale Nolte, manager of the National Feral Swine Damage Management Program at the United States Department of Agriculture. The Atlantic Ocean.
‘They multiply so quickly. It doesn’t matter to go from a thousand to two thousand. But if you have a million, it doesn’t take long to get to four million, and then eight million. ‘
The pigs are not of the cuddly cartoon type, but a mixture of breeds in combination with wild boars.
It is thought that there are about nine million feral pigs in the US and Canada
Damage to a farmer’s field from feral pigs is depicted in this file photo. The animals cause billions of dollars in damage to farming communities and fields every year
Tom Meister, a wildlife biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, examines damage caused by wild boars to a field on a farm near Steelville, Missouri in 2019
“It creates what we would call super pigs,” says Ryan Brook, a biologist at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.
The ‘super pigs’ can grow large and can each have 10 or more litters.
“Pig populations are completely out of control,” says Brook. “The efforts to address them are about 1 percent of what is currently needed.” He says his province of Saskatchewan will soon have more wild boars than people.
There is a growing need to address the problem, as the animals are responsible for an estimated $ 2.5 billion in damage every year when they plow through crops, destroy plants, attack calves, lambs and pregnant livestock.
The feral pigs also carry bacterial diseases and parasites.
So far, only one place in the US and another in Canada are trying to track down and clean up the growing pig populations.
The Canadian province of Ontario is educating the public, collecting data and testing how pigs can be tracked and disposed of in the northern state of Montana, where there are no feral pigs at all.
Feral pigs roam near LaBelle, Florida. The state ranks second to Texas in the number of non-native feral pigs living in the state
The feral pigs cover an area of the US and Canada equal to 35,000 square miles each year. Some states and provinces have launched educational campaigns for people to spot the animals, report them, and eventually kill them in an attempt to curb their numbers
The Montanans have been educated on the issue with a catchy campaign called ‘Squeal on Pigs’ that encourages residents to call a 24-hour hotline if they see sightings so that wildlife personnel can capture and kill the animals.
Pigs go wild the moment they manage to escape from their farm enclosures.
After breeding in the wild, the offspring are classified as feral and given tusks.
They also roam vast distances of up to 30 square miles and sometimes become active at night making them even more difficult to track.
Ontario, meanwhile, has been tracking pigs since 2018 and, like Montana, provides information to the public.
A website has been created for people to report sightings, along with photos and comments. So far, there have been reports of about 400 pigs outside their gates.
With other regions on the continent appearing to be at risk of wild boars entering their lands, other states and Canadian territories, including North Dakota and the Yukon area, are running similar educational campaigns and encouraging people to report the animals if they are spotted hoping to keep them out of the area forever.
As soon as a pig escapes from its encirclement, it turns wild and starts to get tusks. They then mate with other wild boars or boars and the offspring become feral
Earlier this year, a pig weighing nearly 500 pounds was found in southeast Texas
Joel Dudley, owner of Nuisance Wildlife Removal, and Mike Huckabay shot and killed the 488lb wild boar in The Preserve – formerly known as Cypress Lakes, Texas in February
Another six pigs killed on a Texas hunting night earlier this year weighed 250 pounds each