The havoc caused by invasive wild pigs in Kentucky

Anita Durairaj

Wild pigs or feral pigs are not native to the U.S. They were brought into the U.S. in the 1500s by settlers as a source of food. Later in the 1900s, the Eurasian or Russian Wild Boar was introduced for sports hunting.

Wild pigs are a combination of these domestic pigs and wild boars that were brought into the country. Due to their origin and capacity to cause environmental havoc, wild pigs are classified as invasive species.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that wild pigs have been found in 35 states. As of 2020, their population in the U.S. is 6 million and they are still expanding.

In Kentucky, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has declared that the wild pig has the capability of causing much harm. They pose a serious threat to wildlife, habitats, and natural areas.

The pigs reportedly arrived in Kentucky via trucks and trailers. They were also illegally released in the state for recreational hunting.

Wild pigs compete with native species for food and destroy crops and native vegetation. They also damage water quality and can carry pig and human diseases.

The population of wild pigs is increasing because they can adapt to any habitat and they are omnivorous. Their feeding habits and behaviors contribute to agricultural damage and the destruction of wildlife and their habitats.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Services states that any wild pig sightings should be reported to the department. The pigs should not be killed because it is not a suitable eradication method and will not work.

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