Today’s Wild hogs are descendants of Eurasian wild boars and sows brought to America by explorers from Europe and Asia to be released as a food source for colonists. Once released in America these wild pigs bred prolifically.
It is interesting to note that the original Pigs were first brought to the ‘New World’ by Christopher Columbus and were released to multiply on islands of the West Indies to provide a food supply for future colonists. This practice continued with the Spanish and other explorers in the 16th-17th centuries arriving who arrived at the West Indies and southern parts of what is today the United States.
These domestic pigs periodically escaped from Farms and joined the ever growing feral (wild) pig populations of nearby areas. Now, 500 years after their introduction to the Americas the feral numbers today are estimated to be as high as 9 million, just in the United States.
Wild hogs are an invasive species that has multiplied across the United States for 6 centuries and now numbers close to 10 million. They do huge damage to the environment in 40 states of the U.S.A. Their damage brings economic and ecological damage to thousands of farms and rural area homes. Also they carry many different diseases that can spread through populations of both domestic and wild animals as well as humans. Furthermore they can be aggressive toward people and domestic animals.
States are using a variety of methods to attempt to get them under control, including hunting, trapping, poisoning, and sterilization. Humanely decreasing their numbers is vital to preserving the diversity of the natural environment as well as valuable farmland and other private property.
NEXT: What Do Wild Hogs Eat?