Wild boar rampage raise concerns over disease and damage

US - Livingston County's scenery could soon be uprooted by large, hairy, black wild pigs known for being aggressive and willing to eat anything. The pigs, imported from Russia for sport and hunting, may also present a disease risk to livestock in the area.
calendar icon 14 May 2007
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A bow hunter shot and killed this young adult boar in the fall of 2006 in Gratiot County, located north of Lansing. While this one is big at 130 pounds, most adults are over 200 pounds.

State officials said there's been one sighting of these pigs in the Fowlerville area in January, and a farmer shot and killed a 300-pound wild pig in neighboring Shiawassee County in November.

"If you're out walking and don't have a firearm, don't try to chase them," said Bridget Patrick, zoonotic disease liaison for the Michigan Department of Agriculture. "Back off slowly ... they have sharp, razor-like tusks."

The pigs, which are not native to Michigan, are called Russian or Eurasian boars. Adults can easily weigh over 200 pounds and move extremely fast. In Michigan, state officials said one boar chased a woman into her garage and another chased a hunter up into a tree.

State officials said the animals apparently have escaped from game preserves in the state that import the animals for paid hunts.

State officials are most worried about these wild pigs because they could carry diseases, including bovine tuberculosis, and spread them to livestock.

Source: LivingSton Daily.com

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