The Palmetto State's feral pig problem

Image by Flickr user guppiecat

The Palmetto State is home to the nation's sixth-largest population of wild hogs, many of which are hybrids of domestic pigs released into the wild and Eurasian wild boars released by hunters in the early 1900s.

The pigs are a serious concern for wildlife officials who say the population, 90,000 to 280,000 strong in South Carolina, carry disease, eat pretty much anything, uproot lawns, crops and golf courses and are a threat to native wildlife. Controlling the feral pig population is a very difficult task due to their high reproductive rates.

Some areas of the state are taking matters into their own hands and are enlisting the help of hunters and their dogs to help reduce the population. On the scientific front, there is hope that researchers will cook up at a swine birth-control pill that could be placed in bait to more effectively control the growing population.

The Hilton Head Island Packet has an interesting piece on the pig phenomenon, go check it out.

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