A new threat is looming over the northern states of the US: a hybrid breed of super pigs that originated from Canada, reports fieldandstream.com.
These animals are a result of cross-breeding domestic pigs with Eurasian wild boar, which were imported to Canada for meat production in the 1980s and 1990s.
Some of these pigs escaped from their pens and mated with wild boars, creating a new hybrid that is larger, more cold-tolerant, and more adaptable than either parent.
The super pigs are considered an invasive species, as they have no natural predators and can cause significant damage to crops, wildlife, and ecosystems.
“Wild hogs feed on anything,” Ryan Brook, leader of the University of Saskatchewan’s Canadian Wild Pig Research Project, told Field and Stream.
“They gobble up tons and tons of goslings and ducklings in the spring.”
“They can take down a whitetail deer, even an adult. Originally, it was like ‘wow, this is something we can hunt.’ But it’s become clear that they’re threatening our whitetail deer, elk, and especially, waterfowl. Not to mention the crop damage.”
“The downsides outweigh any benefit wild hogs may have as a huntable species.”
They are highly intelligent and elusive, capable of changing their behavior patterns to avoid hunters and traps. They can also tunnel under snow to survive harsh winters.
The super pigs have already crossed the border into some US states, such as North Dakota, and are expected to expand their range further south.
The US Department of Agriculture has launched a national feral swine damage management program to monitor and control the population of wild pigs in the country.
One of the strategies used is the Judas Pig concept, which involves tracking a collared pig to locate other members of its group. However, eradicating the super pigs may prove difficult due to their high reproductive rate and adaptability.