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Wild Pigs A Growing Problem

(Flickr)

I see deer and turkey in my neighborhood nearly every day all year long. Occasionally I see foxes and I hear coyotes. But a suburban neighborhood near Atlanta has a problem that’s spreading across the country – wild pigs.

There’s one town where the pigs roam like they own the place, and kids are afraid to go out and play. Some kids are afraid to even stay on the first floor of their own homes because they’re afraid the pigs are going to come in the door. Their parents won’t let them walk to the school bus stop in the morning.

The pigs are a problem throughout Georgia, especially in rural areas, where they often destroy farmers’ crops, but now they’re moving closer to the city, and it’s like a buffet because they tear through garbage. There’s no reason for them to leave because it’s a steady food source. So trappers are at work trying to round them up, but it’s not easy trying to trap a 300-pound pig.

Where’d they come from? They’re the descendants of pigs that escaped from farms as long as 20 years ago.

Wild pigs or hogs are the most destructive of any animals in the United States. There’s believed to be between two and six million of them roaming across 39 states and four Canadian provinces. They do $400 million in damage every year. They tear up recreational areas, destroy crops, even terrorize tourists in state and national parks.

They can survive in almost any conditions or climate, they have no natural predators, and they’ll eat almost anything. And they breed like crazy. A sow can have as many as a dozen piglets at a time.

Of any state, Texas has the worst problem. An estimated half of the country’s wild pigs roam in Texas. It’s such a bad problem that they’re fair game for hunters year round. They can even be hunted from helicopters. They don’t think they’ll ever be able to wipe them out, but their focus is controlling their growth.

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