So apparently Texas is being invaded by boars. I was not aware of this situation when we moved here, but the things have been breeding and overrunning the state for years. There were an estimated 1.5 million of the things here, and their estimated habitat pretty much covers all of the Lone Star State.
These aren’t the tiny little piglets that usually get shown on television, either. We’re talking the 100 to 400 lb suckers with tusks and a nasty temper. They are omnivorous, which means they eat anything they can catch or scrape out of the ground, and are responsible for about 800 million dollars of property damage each year. They’ve been known to eat sheep, goats and other small livestock, and while they don’t usually eat humans, an encounter with one could result in ‘blood loss, broken bones or dismemberment.’ According to one source I found, the recommended weapon for dealing with one is an AK-47.
They are an introduced species, and so, like cheatgrass and a certain ivy species I’ve heard about, they are quickly growing out of control, especially due to their large litters. Every season is hog hunting season here, and there was even an attempt to offer a bounty for the feral boars in order to stop the problem. People managed to down around 2,000 of them before they canceled the bounty due to lack of funds. The boars continued to root and eat, unfazed. From what I’ve heard, the problem has only gotten worse since then. Nobody seems to know what to do about it.
Of course, the only real solution is for people to start eating boar meat. That’s when the situation will really get under control. Can anyone say boar chops? :) Not that I have any ideas about that or anything…