Feral Hog Invasion Threatens US Border As Canadian ‘Super Pigs’ Multiply

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News in brief:
– Hybrid ‘super pigs’ originating from Canada pose a significant threat to northern US border states, with their ability to thrive in harsh conditions and destructive tendencies.

– Researchers suggest proactive measures such as bans, traps, net guns, tracking programs, and even the use of sodium nitrate to control their population. 

A growing population of feral hogs, dubbed ‘super pigs’ due to their hybrid lineage, is posing a significant threat to the United States’ northern border. These hardy swine, originating from Canada, are wreaking havoc on Canadian ecosystems and could soon encroach upon American territory, a news source says.

The University of Saskatchewan has extensively studied these super pigs and found that they are a crossbreed between wild boar and domestic swine. They have inherited traits from both breeds that enhance their ability to thrive in harsh environments. Also, they discovered that these pigs can weigh up to 350 pounds and survive harsh Canadian winters by building snow burrows known as ‘pigloos’ for shelter.

Ruth Aschim, a PhD student at the University of Saskatchewan who led research on the super pig species, described them as ecological train wrecks. She said that they have voracious appetites and destructive tendencies consuming a wide range of crops, insects, birds, reptiles, and small mammals. Their appetite is reportedly causing significant damage to agriculture and livestock.

Furthermore their rapid reproduction rate is another challenge. These hogs reportedly reach sexually maturity as early as four to eight months old and can produce litters of up to six piglets by then. Couple this reproductive capacity and ability to survive harsh conditions, their population increase is nothing short of alarming.

In the United States, feral hogs already pose a serious problem, the report said. They cost landowners billions of dollars annually in crop and land damage.

To combat this issue, northern states like Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana are taking proactive measures to prevent the incursion of the super pigs.

Montana, for example, has already implemented a ban on raising and transporting wild pigs within the state. However, experts believe more drastic measures may be necessary to effectively halt the super pig invasion.

Ryan Brook, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan and expert on the super pig population, suggests implementing a combination of strategies. His suggestions inlcude large ground traps, helicopter-deployed net guns, tracking programs, and even the use of poisons like sodium nitrate, though the latter raises concerns about its impact on other wildlife.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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