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September 20, 2020 - Kxan

Hog wild: U.S. and Texas have 'out of control' population of 'super-pigs,' expert says

Hog wild: U.S. and Texas have 'out of control' population of 'super-pigs,' expert says
Pigs in field File Image: (c) Photabulous!

There’s a ticking time bomb when it comes to wild hogs — and the billions in damage they cause. There are about nine million feral hogs in the U.S. And those numbers are ballooning and increasing the estimated $2.5 billion in damage they already cost in the U.S. each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says.

That’s according to Dale Nolte, manager of the National Feral Swine Damage Management Program at the Department of Agriculture, who tells The Atlantic that the increasing numbers of feral hogs in the U.S. is sometimes referred to as a “ferral swine bomb.” He says because they can reproduce so quickly, it’s very difficult to control the problem.

“To go from a thousand to two thousand, it’s not a big deal,” Nolte told The Atlantic. “But if you’ve got a million, it doesn’t take long to get to four [million], then eight million.” Nolte says some feral hogs — domestic breeds and European wild boar — have cross-bred and become “what we’d call super-pigs.”

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