Highly intelligent hybrid super pigs which have ravaged native wildlife in Canada are making their way into the United States, a report said.
The pigs, which were originally crossbred as a mix between domestic pig and wild boar, have been running wild in Canada for about two decades and are now heading south, likely setting their sights on Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Michigan, according to a Field and Stream report.
A drop in the market led some farmers to let the hybrid pigs run free. The problem, wildlife officials say, is that the super pigs are able to thrive in cold weather and are proving hard to eradicate.
“That they can survive in such a cold climate is one of the big surprises of this issue,” Ryan Brook, leader of the University of Saskatchewan’s Canadian Wild Pig Research Project, told Field and Stream.
“Wild hogs feed on anything. They gobble up tons and tons of goslings and ducklings in the spring. They can take down a whitetail deer, even an adult,” Brook said. “Originally, it was like ‘wow, this is something we can hunt.’ But it’s become clear that they’re threatening our whitetail deer, elk, and especially, waterfowl. Not to mention the crop damage. The downsides outweigh any benefit wild hogs may have as a huntable species.”
Brook said it’s likely too late to eradicate the super pigs in Canada. Doing so, he says, would be “sort of like trying to eradicate mosquitos.”
Writing for Popular Mechanics on Feb. 21, journalist Tim Newcomb noted: "The super pigs have become adept at fending off recreational hunters, sometimes with entire sounders (the term for a group of pigs, generally led by mature sows) turning nocturnal to avoid the hunting. Other times the sounders will disperse, making them harder to locate, or change their patterns and retreat to forests or wetlands."
One of the ways wildlife officials are hoping to eradicate the invaders is to strap GPS collars onto pigs to lead game officials to groups of other pigs.
Another solution, in the see something, say something tradition, is the Squeal on Pigs website which makes it easier to report a super pig sighting.
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