Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Beware the feral hogs

This is what we need more of in apocalyptic future science fiction--rampaging herds of feral hogs:
There are thought to be between 4m and 5m feral hogs at large in America, spread across 38 states. The biggest population is in Texas, but states from Florida to Oregon are infested and worried. Feral hogs destroy the habitats of plants and animals, spread diseases, damage crops, kill and eat the eggs and young of wildlife and sometimes menace people with their aggressive behaviour.
The problem originated with the Spanish conquistadors, who took herds of pigs with them as they marched across the American continent. Stragglers reverted to their wild state. Much later “sportsmen” began releasing hogs into reserves for commercial hunting. More recently still declining pork prices have induced farmers to turn some of their stock loose rather than continue feeding them. Pigs produce so many piglets that a feral herd can double or even triple within as little as a year.
Via The Economist.

2 comments:

Eamon Knight said...

This is what we need more of in apocalyptic future science fiction--rampaging herds of feral hogs:

I take it you've read Oryx and Crake? Make that genetically-enhanced, intelligent rampaging herds of feral hogs...

Jim Lippard said...

Nope, haven't read that Margaret Atwood book. Looks like I should put it on the list...