(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.
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