Highly Intelligent, Elusive “Super Pigs” from Canada May Pose Threat to NY
Beware, New Yorkers in the north country: Hogzilla is on the loose.
A new type of wild, cross-bred swine from Canada may soon be invading northern states. These so-called "super pigs" are the result of cross-breeding domesticated pigs with wild boars. These pigs are said to be "incredibly intelligent" and "highly elusive."
What's most impressive -- and perhaps troubling -- is their ability to burrow under snow and create tunnels. This makes them highly adaptable to cold climates.
WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM?
Wild pigs can cause major disruption in the ecosystem. They're known for "pigging out" on crops, can damage local flora and fauna, and can even spread harmful diseases like swine flu.
Their size alone makes them a formidable foe. Wild pigs weigh between 75 and 250 pounds and can stand up to 3 feet tall. Tusked males are entirely capable of killing deer and livestock.
AN INVASIVE MAMMAL
Pigs are not native to North America. They were brought over by early explorers and settlers as early as the 1500s. It's now estimated that as many as 6 million feral pigs exist throughout the United States. According to a report, wild pigs do millions of dollars worth of damage each year.
According to Ryan Brook, the head of the University of Saskatchewan's wild pig research project:
Wild pigs are easily the worst invasive large mammal on the planet. They're incredibly intelligent. They're highly elusive, and also when there's any pressure on them, especially if people start hunting them, they become almost completely nocturnal... hiding in heavy forest cover... and they can be very hard to locate.
The creation of these Canadian cross-bred super pigs, which began sometime in the 1980s, was a desire to produce an animal with more meat. At some point these pigs escaped captivity and populations spread across Canada.
It remains to be seen if these pigs can carve their "snow caves" all the way to the Empire State. New York may soon have a pig problem.
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