Canadian Super Pigs Are Invading the U.S. – Should Wyoming Worry?
I never thought I'd see the day "Super Pigs" would invade the United States...but here we are.
I suppose after the Murder Hornets from COVID-19 and Cocaine Bear, we shouldn't be surprised. Now the U.S. faces a new, wild foe from Canada - the destructive and highly intelligent "Super Pig."
Now, the murder hornets didn't make their way to Wyoming - at least, no reports were made about it. As for cocaine-raging bears, those reports are (thankfully) non-existent in the Cowboy State, too.
However, the Canadian Super Pigs are invading a lot closer to home. Experts concur that the chance of wild hogs jumping the border to Montana is highly likely. According to the lead scientist, Dr. Ryan Brook, they've already been spotted in North Dakota on the University of Saskatchewan's Canadian Wild Pig Research Project.
But why would wild hog hybrids in Montana or North Dakota threaten Wyoming? And why are these Canadian hogs so "SUPER"?
Understanding the Canadian Super Pig Threat
Canada's super pig problem originated when the agricultural industry demanded a diversified population of critters - Canadian farmers began raising wild boars imported from Europe to meet the demands. But demand wavered and faded. So, what did the farmers do?
They released the boars into the wild, assuming they'd never survive the rugged Canadian terrain.
Boy, were they wrong.
The wild boars adapted and bred with domestic pigs, creating a hyper-intelligent, hardy, and adaptable creature. They're huge - one such pig was recorded to weigh 661 lbs. They know to dig dens in the snow to survive the intense cold. And they've adapted to become nocturnal to avoid hunting.
If that doesn't add up to a threat, keep this in mind: these super pigs are accomplished predators.
The Guardian reports that wild pigs are known to hunt fowl and young fawns. In his interview with Field and Stream, Dr. Brook explained that the hybrid species can take down an adult white-tail deer and that the pigs can eat just about anything. That spells big trouble for wildlife and humans should they come to Wyoming.
Why Should Wyoming Worry About Canadian Super Pigs?
According to the information I received from Wyoming Game & Fish, Wyoming "shares the same concerns as other states about the impacts wild pigs have on native wildlife populations and habitats."
Those impacts are no joke. The Guardian Reports that wild pigs cause $1.5 billion in damages across the U.S. annually. They wreck crops and property and wreak havoc on the native ecosystem. Wild pigs are also a melting pot for upwards of 89 diseases that can drastically harm humans, such as the novel influenza viruses that led to the Swine Flu. Long story short, this invasive species does what every other harmful invasive species does - it destroys environments and ecosystems critical to native wildlife thriving.
Are There Wild Hogs in Wyoming Now?
Wyoming Game & Fish reports that no super pigs or other wild swine have been detected in the state. Feral swine aren't native to the area.
What Happens if the Super Pigs Invade Wyoming?
And a glance at the Game & Fish Regulations shows we don't have hunting regulations or rules regarding their presence here - something that may change should the hogs enter the region.
According to Dr. Brook, Canada initially approached the super pigs as a hunting opportunity. But, after the species began to wreak havoc, it became clear in Canada that the pigs' "downsides outweigh any benefit wild hogs may have as a huntable species."
If you stumble across a wild pig roaming Wyoming, you should first alert Wyoming Game & Fish. You can also let the "Squeal On Pigs" program know on its website to help track the spread of the super hogs.