If it’s not one crisis, it’s another. This latest emergency, descending on us from Canada and slowly moving across the Northern Plains, isn’t another Chinese balloon. This one offers American gun owners a chance to ride to the rescue, using their skills to fight an invasion of new race of feral “super-pigs.” And unlike zombies, you don’t have to shoot them in the head to put them down.
You thought coyote drives and varmint hunts were fun? These “incredibly intelligent, highly elusive” super-pigs aren’t friendly or suitable for domestication as pets, but they make great reactive targets as the good guys attempt to thin their numbers
From Field & Stream:
The U.S. may soon have a new wild pig problem. Until now, the invasive species has largely proliferated in warm places like the southeast, Texas, and California. But in recent years, invasive pigs have started thriving in Canada and may spread into North Dakota, Montana, Michigan, and Minnesota.
According to Dr. Ryan Brook, who leads the University of Saskatchewan’s Canadian Wild Pig Research Project, Canada’s wild pig problem is relatively new. “The U.S. has a 400-plus year history with invasive wild pigs, but we didn’t have any here until the early 1980s,” he says. “There was a big push to diversify agriculture with species like wild boards and ostriches. Wild boars were brought in from Europe to be raised on farms across Canada.”
Most of those pigs were kept on meat farms, but some were used on high-fence hunting preserves. Many farmers and ranchers soon crossbred the wild boars with domestic pigs. According to Brook, the hybridization resulted in bigger “super pigs” that could survive in cold climates. “For surviving in cold winters, one of the rules of ecology is: the bigger the better,” he says. “Larger body animals survive the cold better and have better reproduction in those conditions.”
In the early 2000s, the market for farmed boars dropped out in Canada. Some escaped from their enclosures and others were let free without anyone to sell them to. In less than 20 years, the wild—or feral—population exploded, in part due to the species’ extraordinarily high reproductive rate. Wild boars now roam approximately 620,000 square miles in Canada, primarily in the Prairie Provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta.
Now, thanks to Canada, northern states will be able to get in on the never-ending attempt to stop the spread of these destructive feral critters. They may be hard to get rid of, but trying seems like a whole lot of fun.
Just be careful out there.