A Problem that Cannot be Solved With BBQ

Image from toledoblade.com

Image from toledoblade.com

In the early 1500’s the Eurasian wild boar was brought over to the Americas. Initially, it was a domesticated animal and a food source for new settlers. But pigs of any sort are crafty creatures and many of the domesticated Eurasian boars made their escape. Hundreds of years later, the ancestors of the wild boar roam present day Texas and Florida, and they are anything but welcome.

The Eurasian boar is as hearty as invasive species come. They reproduce rapidly, with as many as fourteen piglets per litter. The piglets are sexually mature within twenty-four month and the entire process begins again. Male boars are usually solitary, but will seek out groups of females during mating season. Females and young form groups called sounders, but whether alone or part of a larger party, the wild boar leaves destruction in its wake.

The Eurasian boar will eat almost anything from nuts and berries to small reptiles and the eggs out of the nests of ground nesting birds. Their feeding habits are incredibly destructive to native plants and animals. Farmers do not escape the destruction either. The wild boars will not only eat the crops, but they tear up the fields by wallowing in the dirt and mud.

In places where the infestation of pigs is the worst, they are trapped and killed, and sometimes even consumed by people. Sometimes the trapped animals are moved to a less populated location where they will not disturb people. Texas alone has over two million wild hogs running loose, and trapping and hunting are not enough to control the hordes. The wild boar population has been growing so quickly that it is not a problem exclusive to Texas and Florida anymore. The pigs have begun to spread throughout the south, and are rapidly growing in numbers as far west as California and as far north as Ohio.

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