Feral pigs on a (nearly) unstoppable march across New York State

Photo of American feral pig by Flickr user Dave Govoni. Published under Creative Commons license.

Last year, we warned you: Feral pigs are coming to the Catskills, and it's not going to be pretty.

Today, a story by Reuters says that feral pigs are breeding in at least three counties in New York State, killing pets and spreading disease.

Sullivan County farmer Peter Andersen, who's become something of an expert in killing the rampant swine, has a terrifying quote on how tough it is to dispatch a feral pig:

"We've shot them right square in the head and the bullet will glance off and they'll get up and go. Their skulls are so thick in the front, if you don't happen to hit it at a perfect 90 degrees, with the way their heads have that kind of curved shape, the bullet will glance right off," he said.

A 2010 report from the USDA about feral pigs in New York State says that with populations still numbering in the hundreds, there's still time to act -- but not much:

In the absence of aggressive professional management these populations will likely continue their expansion and become entrenched in New York State with potentially devastating consequences to natural resources, agriculture, and human health and safety. Current feral swine populations in New York are low, offering the possibility of eradication with timely management efforts.

2010 Status of Feral Swine in NY

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