So a quick scan of the world news is a pretty good indicator that hogs aren’t just running amock here in the US. Due to warmer winters and changing agricultural practices, as well as the expansion of human habitation into former wild country, wild boar are finding their way into the news all over.
First of all, let’s pop over to China, where the boar are not only threatening agriculture, but are presenting a danger to people as well.
According to this article from the Xinhua News Corp., the boar have increased by more than 500% over a decade in the Zhejiang province. In at least one village, over one-third of the season’s crop has been wiped out by the marauding hogs, despite the villagers’ attempts to frighten them away with horns, fireworks, bombs, and gongs.
HANGZHOU, Sept.12 (Xinhua) — When the traditional Vuvuzela horn arrived in some villages in east China’s Zhejiang Province, it had a different use — to scare away boars at midnight.
Plastic trumpets and Karaoke were used, as well, by farmers seeking to prevent the animal from destroying their crops and injuring people.
The number of boars has risen to an estimated 150,000 in ten villages and cities in Zhejiang, five time the number found a decade ago, said a newly released survey on wild animals by the provincial Forestry Bureau.
Then, hopping over to India, we find the tragic story of Ranganath Sethi, a father killed by a wild boar while trying to save his son from the animal’s attack. Apparently, the boar had already injured three other villagers and attacked the father and son while they were working in their fields. According to some witnesses, the animal may have been injured by people in a nearby village, which would account for the aggression.
Also in India, another tragedy claimed the life of a teenage girl. According to this article from The Times of India:
GUWAHATI: A teenage girl was mauled to death and two others were injured during an attack by a wild boar outside Orang National Park, about 150 km from here, on Friday.
The girl, Rekha Devi Prasad, was attacked in the morning by the boar while she was standing in front of her house at Thalthali Nepali Gaon, a fringe village of Orang. Two persons also suffered minor injuries and are undergoing treatment at Mangaldoi civil hospital.
Mangaldoi wildlife divisional forest officer Sushil Kumar Daila suspected that the wild boar attack might have been provoked by villagers when they tried to chase it. “We suspect provocation behind the attack. It might have attacked while trying to escape,” Daila said.
Park officials said there had been no instance of human deaths in wild boar attacks in Orang. Wildlife experts said wild boars turn aggressive when provoked.
Turning north, to Germany, where the wild boar population has been exploding over the past few years, the problems continue in unexpected places. According to this article, from AFP, the hogs have taken on the role of football hooligans, storming and occupying the “pitch”, or playing field, and causing the postponement of a local tournament.
BERLIN — A German fifth division match has had to be called off after a pitch invasion by a group of wild boars left the surface in an unplayable condition.
Local officials said on Friday that wild boar had entered Dresden Borea’s Jaegerpark (Hunter Park) stadium overnight, derailing Saturday’s kickoff against Lokomotive Leipzig.
The boars left such big holes in the playing surface as they scavenged for food that there is no way the match in German’s fifth tier could be played.
From the football pitch to the golf course, wild hogs are making a mess. In this story from the Spanish news site, Typically Spanish, the wild boar are making a nuisance of themselves. City officials are calling for action.
The Partido Popular in Mijas are demanding that action be taken by the Town Hall to stop wild boar invading local golf courses and rural properties, and causing considerable damage.
Councillor Manolo Navaro said that even dogs had been attacked by the boar over recent days, and that the damage had been taking place for the past three or four weeks.
Finally, sailing back over the ocean to my old hometown of Wilmington, NC, the local Star News has a long article about the resurgence in feral pig populations. While the pigs aren’t showing up in New Hanover county, the more rural, coastal counties, are definitely starting to see more of the animals. My brother has heard reports of local clubs seeing hogs on their trail cams.
I know a lot of hunters back there will be thrilled to hear this news, but there’s a big downside with the population growth. With the damage from whitetail deer already in the millions of dollars annually, the added predation from wild hogs is going to be a real problem for local farmers. There’s no season or limit on feral hogs (wild boar in certain mountain counties are regulated, however… know the laws before you hunt!), and hunters and landowners are encouraged to kill feral hogs on sight.
Of course the biggest difference between what’s happening with wild boar in Asia and Europe and what’s going on here in the US is that the hogs are native in those other countries. As we prepare to head into another warmer-than-normal winter season across much of the world, those boar problems will very likely continue to increase. I’ll be here to keep you posted in the Porcine Press.