Wild Hog Population Soars in Texas

US - Ranchers and farmers fighting the nation's largest population of feral hogs could soon be trying to ward off twice as many of the tusked, field-shredding animals.
calendar icon 28 September 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
This photo provided by the Texas A&M University Research and Extension Center shows feral hogs eating corn at a deer feeder near Overton, Texas, in 2004. Agricultural and wildlife officials fear the ample water and vegetation brought by unseasonably heavy rains this year could double from current state estimates of 2 million wild hogs.

Wildlife officials fear the ample water and vegetation brought by record-setting rains in Texas this year could double the state estimate of 2 million hogs. The animals reproduce prolifically even under normal conditions, with sows annually having up to two litters of four to eight piglets.

"We are seeing an absolute explosion," said Kirby Brown, executive vice president of the Texas Wildlife Association. "They are on a roll right now."

Feral hogs are the most prolific large, wild mammal in North America. Descendants of domestic hogs, they are found in nearly all of Texas' 254 counties and in about 38 other states. Texas has roughly half the nation's population.

The hogs, which can weigh 400 pounds or more and have been known to act aggressively toward people when cornered, cause an estimated $52 million in damage annually to crops and property, state officials said.

Source: AP
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