Feral Pigs Going Hog Wild Across Growing Area Of US - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Feral Pigs Going Hog Wild Across Growing Area Of US

Posted: Updated:

NBCNEWS.COM - Digging up fields and lawns, killing livestock and spreading disease, wild pigs have gone from a regional nuisance to one rapidly spreading across the nation.

The animals have razor-sharp tusks, a bottomless appetite and no natural predators, and experts say the invasion of the feral pigs has become a major problem that is moving north. "This truly is becoming a national crisis,'' John Mayer, the manager of environmental science at the Savannah River (S.C.) National Laboratory, told TODAY on Friday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that wild hogs, which can weigh more than 200 pounds, are responsible for more than $1.5 billion in agriculture damage and destruction every year.

TODAY's Kerry Sanders took a ride in a helicopter to see them firsthand, watching dozens on the run across the 2,000-acre South Fork Ranch in Okeechobee, Fla. "It's like having a rat in your house,'' Southfork Land and Cattle Company's Bill Wallace told Sanders. "They're just not a good thing."

In 1987, there were an estimated two million wild pigs in about 20 states, primarily in the South and concentrated in Texas and Florida. Now there are an estimated six to eight million wild pigs roaming 47 states. "This increase that we've seen in wild pigs is unquestionably dramatic,'' Mayer said. "We don't have another species here in the U.S. that has increased at this same rate."

Experts say the explosion in the wild pig population is partially due to hunters transporting them across state lines, plus some escaping from hunting preserves.

The animals also produce two litters a year, rapidly swelling their numbers. All of it could add up to a higher grocery bill for Americans. "The reason people should care is because eventually it could result in increased costs at the marketplace,'' Wallace said.

  • National NewsMore>>

  • Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war

    Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:36 AM EDT2014-07-27 14:36:04 GMT
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas says it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war ahead of a major Muslim holiday. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce would go into effect at 2 p.m. Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.More >>
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas says it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war ahead of a major Muslim holiday. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce would go into effect at 2 p.m. Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.More >>
  • Dutch: 1st victim identified from Flight 17

    Dutch: 1st victim identified from Flight 17

    Saturday, July 26 2014 5:55 PM EDT2014-07-26 21:55:02 GMT
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch government says the first victim has been identified from the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster.The name and sex of the victim, a Dutch national, weren't released. The government said Saturday the next of kin and mayor of the victim's hometown have been informed.More >>
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch government says the first victim has been identified from the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster.The name and sex of the victim, a Dutch national, weren't released. The government said Saturday the next of kin and mayor of the victim's hometown have been informed.More >>
  • 3 rockets hit Israel as Hamas rejects Gaza truce

    3 rockets hit Israel as Hamas rejects Gaza truce

    Saturday, July 26 2014 5:19 PM EDT2014-07-26 21:19:11 GMT
    JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli military says three rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel despite a proposed extension of a humanitarian truce in the Gaza war.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group rejected Israel's proposal to extend an original 12-hour lull by four hours, until midnight Saturday.More >>
    JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli military says three rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel despite a proposed extension of a humanitarian truce in the Gaza war.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group rejected Israel's proposal to extend an original 12-hour lull by four hours, until midnight Saturday.More >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Rising Eagle Road Fire: New fire near Winthrop and Twisp

    Rising Eagle Road Fire: New fire near Winthrop and Twisp

    Friday, August 1 2014 8:59 PM EDT2014-08-02 00:59:15 GMT
    KHQ.COM - According to Carlton Complex information, a new fire has started south of Winthrop near the smoke jumper base we are assisting local agencies and providing resources as necessary. This fire is not apart of the Carlton Complex fire, but they are assisting. >>>>> CLICK INSIDE FOR MORE INFORMATION>>>>>>More >>
    KHQ.COM - According to Carlton Complex information, a new fire has started south of Winthrop near the smoke jumper base we are assisting local agencies and providing resources as necessary. This fire is not apart of the Carlton Complex fire, but they are assisting. >>>>> CLICK INSIDE FOR MORE INFORMATION>>>>>>More >>
  • Fatal crash in Deer Park on SR 395

    Fatal crash in Deer Park on SR 395

    Friday, August 1 2014 8:40 PM EDT2014-08-02 00:40:19 GMT
    One person is dead after a fatal crash between a pick up truck and a SUV before 4:30 p.m. on Friday.The accident happened in Deer Park on SR 395 at H street. One death is confirmed at the scene and State Patrol units are investigating the scene.We will update you with more details as we get them.More >>
    One person is dead after a fatal crash between a pick up truck and a SUV before 4:30 p.m. on Friday.The accident happened in Deer Park on SR 395 at H street. One death is confirmed at the scene and State Patrol units are investigating the scene.We will update you with more details as we get them.More >>
  • 2 Ebola victims to be treated at Atlanta hospital

    2 Ebola victims to be treated at Atlanta hospital

    Friday, August 1 2014 4:44 PM EDT2014-08-01 20:44:43 GMT
    CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) - Presidents from the West African countries hit by the Ebola outbreak are meeting with world health leaders to come up with ways to stop the spread of the deadly disease. The World Health Organization said Friday it is launching a new joint $100 million response plan to the outbreak that has killed at least 729 people in four countries.More >>
    CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) - Presidents from the West African countries hit by the Ebola outbreak are meeting with world health leaders to come up with ways to stop the spread of the deadly disease. The World Health Organization said Friday it is launching a new joint $100 million response plan to the outbreak that has killed at least 729 people in four countries.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.