It’s hog wild! The US population of wild pigs is soaring due to what experts are calling “a feral swine bomb,” according to a report. There are about 9 million feral hogs in the nation currently, and the beasts, which cause an estimated $2.5 billion worth of damage each year, are multiplying quickly, The Atlantic recently reported. “I’ve heard it referred to as a feral swine bomb,” Dale Nolte, manager of the National Feral Swine Damage Management Program at the US Department of Agriculture told the magazine.
“They multiply so rapidly. To go from a thousand to two thousand, it’s not a big deal. But if you’ve got a million, it doesn’t take long to get to 4 [million], then 8 million.”
Over the last three decades, the wild hog population expanded from about 17 states to at least 39 — and they’re set to occupy 386,000 square miles across the country by the end of 2020, according to Ryan Brook, a University of Saskatchewan biologist who researches the animals. “Pig populations are completely out of control,” Brook said.
The havoc-wreaking oinkers came into the national spotlight last year thanks to a viral tweet about gun control that raised the question of how someone could kill “30-50 feral hogs” without an assault weapon. [full article]