(TMU) – Researchers warn that the United States soon experience a massive explosion in the population of feral hogs throughout the country, causing what some have hyperbolically labeled as a “feral swine bomb.”
Zoologist Dr. Jack Mayer has been researching wild pigs for 40 years and he is worried that populations could soon rise to dangerous levels. The only thing that he sees stopping this impending “pig bomb” is a sudden swine flu epidemic, but there is no indication that this variable will come into play.
“It’s a crazy situation with everything that’s happened in what I call the Pig Bomb, which has exploded in North America,” Jack Mayer told The Daily Beast.
Mayer estimates that the wild hog population in the United States is between 6 and 8 million. Texas is a hotspot for wild hogs, with about two million of them living in the state. Florida, Georgia, and California also have large feral hog populations.
Feral hogs can cause a lot of damage if they start to invade farms and communities in large numbers. They often target farms and eat the livestock.
Mayer says that warmer temperatures have allowed for a higher survival rate for newborn piglets. California and Texas have started to encouraged recreational hunting as a way to reduce their pig populations. However, these animals reproduce so fast that they could fully repopulate even if a significant percentage of their population were wiped out.
“There’s not another animal that can put little feet on the ground quicker than a wild pig,” Mayer said.
Dale Nolte, manager of the National Feral Swine Damage Management Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, also used the “bomb” terminology to describe the growing hog populations.
“I’ve heard it referred to as a feral swine bomb. They multiply so rapidly. To go from a thousand to two thousand, it’s not a big deal. But if you’ve got a million, it doesn’t take long to get to four million, then eight million,” Nolte said.
This problem is not just unique to the US either, the neighboring countries of Canda and Mexico are also experiencing similar problems with the species.
Ryan Brook, a biologist at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, said that these pigs can also grow to be especially large and can have litters of up to ten or more.
“It creates what we’d call super-pigs. Pig populations are completely out of control. The efforts to deal with them are about 1 percent of what’s currently needed,” Brook said, adding that soon his province of Saskatchewan will have more wild pigs than people.
It is estimated that the animals cause up to $2.5 billion worth of damage each year, mostly on farms here they destroy crops and attack livestock. This species is also known to carry dangerous diseases and parasites as well.
This seems like another addition to the list of crazy headlines from 2020, following murder hornets, a pandemic, riots, historic wildfires, literally too many hurricanes to name, and whatever Donald Trump decides to throw at us of any given week.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.