Not a lot going on this rainy Monday, and I’m short on motivation, inspiration, and even conversation. Just one of those days.

So instead of letting the blog go stagnant for another day (sorry about Thursday and Friday), here’s a look at wild boar, feral pigs, and other porcine stuff in the news.

We’ll start in South Carolina, where the significant rain this year has raised water levels in the swamps and driven hogs onto high ground where, inevitably, the conflicts with people are becoming an issue. Well, either that, or the reporter was pushing for a story…

From CBS affiliate, Channel 7, we get this report:

Wild boars are becoming a big problem in South Carolina, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Their numbers are growing by the thousands.

“A lot of times deer hunters will shoot hogs as they see them becasue they realize its a problem so deer hunters take hog hunting seriously and we know there are close to 39,000 hogs killed in 2009,” said Gerald Moore from the Department of Natural Resources

The story goes on to suggest that, if hunters were able to kill 39,000 hogs, there must be thousands more still on the hoof.  Can’t argue with that, as we know how prolific hogs can be.  With so much nearly impenetrable swamp and rural country, SC is a perfect place for hogs to spread with minimal checks.  As some of you may remember, SC recently passed a bill allowing some limited night-hunting for wild hogs.  Also, the Department of Natural Resources is encouraging SC residents and hunters to kill wild hogs on sight.  (Oh, and if you check out the article, make sure and read the comments.  Folks really are getting their “knowledge” of nature from sources like Animal Planet and Discovery Channel.  It’s discouraging.) 

For any of you east coast folks looking for a place to hunt hogs, I’d say keep an eye on SC.  Should be some good opportunities coming soon.

Now, let’s jump across the ocean to the Suburban Bushwacker’s neck of the woods.  A while back we read about the resurgence of wild boar in the UK, particularly in Scotland.  It was an ambivalent story, according to English media sources, as the boar is native to the islands and its return indicates at least some measure of wildlife management success… but the “invasion” of these fearsome beasties appears to be striking some level of terror into the hearts of gardeners and dog-walkers alike. 

As you can read for yourself in this article from The Highland News:

A village has been invaded by hungry wild boar scavenging in gardens in their hunt for food.

The large bristly haired pigs, which are ancestors of farmyard pigs, have been destroying gardens by knocking down fences and eating plants and flowers.

Groups of the rampaging boars, which by nature root up ground for food, have churned up many lawns and various grassy areas.

Now there are fears they could pose a danger to motorists by wandering onto a nearby busy trunk road popular with bikers.

The fears in this tale are well-founded.  A motorcycle collision with a wild boar can have nasty consequences for the rider… perhaps even moreso than for the boar.  It’s not so great when you hit one in a car either, for that matter.  And of course, the damage to an unprotected garden can be really significant… especially since many of the gardens in question aren’t simple decorations, but places where real food grows, like carrots, turnips, beans, and veggies.  At least the article didn’t spend much time on claims that the animals are a direct threat to most humans.

And across the Channel we go, into France where a wild boar goes on a rampage… in a hairdressing studio?  You can read the article at the Mail Online site:

A crazed wild boar wreaked havoc when it went on the rampage in a shopping centre in France.

The ten-stone ‘hairy pig’ with pointed tusks charged into a supermarket through a service entrance, smashing through product displays and sending shoppers fleeing in panic.

The animal then burst through a checkout, along a shopping arcade and into a hairdressing salon in Nancy, Lorraine. 

As customers ran to safety, security men managed to trap the boar inside and lock the door.

You know, really, he just wanted something to tame that unruly ridge of hair along his back.  Is that too much to ask?  I think not.

At any rate, the boar was tranquilized in the shop and will probably be euthanized later. 

One final note, and fairly seriously…  the other big thing in recent news, of course, has nothing to do with pigs.  It’s the multi-fold disaster that is still going on over in Japan.  If you’re of the mind to offer a prayer, a positive thought, or just a moment of consideration to the people in that country, I wish you would.  This thing has all the potential of becoming one of the largest and most far reaching disasters in history.  Take a moment to count your blessings, and to share a little empathy for those folks.  It’s probably going to be a while before they can stop to count their own blessings.