We’ve all gotten the cutesy side of pigs in the media from shows like Winnie the Pooh and his pal Piglet. People also have pigs as pets, not just in a farm environment. Over the years, domestic pigs have escaped their confines leading to feral pigs, also known as wild hogs, wild boars, and razorbacks, among other names. After being introduced to the U.S. by Europe in the 1500s, Sus scrofa hasn’t stuck strictly to captivity. “Within two generations out of captivity, domestic pigs usually lose their pink hue and turn striped and coarse-haired, DePerno said, allowing them to blend in with feral populations” (NG). According to studies, 39 states harbor an estimated 4 million wild pigs.
The hogs can be aggressive both with humans and the environment. Rooting can damage local flora thereby affecting the surrounding fauna and with tusks, usually 3-5″, that have been recorded up to 9″, hogs can easily injure a human. (WDNR) Aside from the dangers their activity poses to agriculture, the environment and humans from physical injuries alone, they also may bring parasites back into the domestic population. The two main parasites of concern are Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella (which I will address in a later post or two). The parasites can spread through consumption of the meat and can make its way back into domestic populations should the feral pigs come into contact with free range pigs. The consensus seems to be an aggressive approach to eradicating the razorback issue.
Here’s a video about the feral hog issue in one of my very favorite countries, towards the end of which he actually discusses his hunting techniques:
:: I am not big on hunting, nor will I ever be. Sometimes you have to take into account alternative methods in order to put a band-aid on human made problems. ::