A type of pig from Canada, dubbed the “super pig,” has been threatening flora and fauna in the northern United States.
The “super pigs,” a cross-breed between domestic pigs and wild boars, are apparently giant and “incredibly intelligent” and “‘highly elusive’ beat[s] capable of surviving cold climates by tunneling under snow,” according to The Guardian.
“We see direct competition for our native species for food,” Michael Marlow, assistant program manager for the United States’ Department of Agriculture’s national feral swine damage management program, told The Guardian. “However, pigs are also accomplished predators. They’ll opportunistically come upon a hidden animal, and the males have long tusks, so they’re very capable of running and grabbing one with their mouth.”
The Guardian also added that the pigs can cause environmental damage such as destroyed crops and trees, and can also pollute water. They can also carry viruses such as the flu which can be transmitted to humans.
Though the pigs are only now wreaking havoc against American crops, they’ve spread across Canada, especially in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan according to Ryan Brook, leader of the wild pig research project at the University of Saskatchewan.
“Wild pigs are easily the worst invasive large mammal on the planet,” said Brook.
Farmers helmed the cross-breeding in the 1980s which led to a larger swine that produced more meat and was far easier for Canadian hunters to shoot in the reserves.
“Probably as late as maybe 2010 to 2012, there was probably a reasonable chance of finding and removing them. But now, they’re so widespread, and so abundant, that certainly as late as 2018 or 19 I stopped saying that eradication was possible. They’re just so established,” Brook told the Guardian. “They’ve definitely moved in, and they’re here to stay.”