Over the summer, a Twitter user posed a question that baffled the internet: “Legit question for rural Americans — How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?” Some people responded earnestly. But the majority of social-media users, unable to imagine a situation in which a cabal of feral hogs — 30 to 50! — might assemble in one’s yard, widely ridiculed the tweet, turning it into a verified meme. But now, it appears we may have laughed too soon.
While feral pigs have long roamed the South, the New York Times reports that the wildly destructive invasive species may be plotting to invade northern states, presumably to take revenge on the ignorant urbanites who mocked them. Per the report, ranchers and government officials are keeping an eye on the “enemy army gathering [in Canada],” which is apparently doing little to contain their hog population.
“It’s concerning that Canada isn’t doing anything about it,” Maggie Nutter, a worried farmer, told the Times. “What do you do to get them to control their wild hog population?”
And as it turns, feral hogs are … really scary. Per the Times, the pigs — which can grow to weigh multiple hundreds of pounds, and reproduce rapidly — have a penchant for destroying everything in their sights. They can dig up acres of crops in a single night; they’ve been known to wreck military airplanes. Every year, the hogs cause an estimated $1.5 billion in damage, though the Department of Agriculture’s feral swine-program manager thinks the damage is closer to $2.5 billion.
The potential invasion is such a serious matter, state and federal agencies are reportedly “monitoring the border” and even have a plan-of-action:
Should the pigs advance, wildlife officials plan an air assault, hunting the pigs from planes with high-tech equipment like night-vision goggles and thermal-imaging scopes. They’re testing waterways for pig DNA, and turning to more traditional approaches — hunting dogs and shotguns.
Here’s to hoping these ones don’t dig up a buried stash of cocaine as did their Italian brethren.