Fans of fearmongering classics such as "murder hornets" , "monkey pox" and "take this experimental vaccine or you'll kill grandma" will love this one...
According to new reports, a population of badass "super pigs" is about to descend on North America from Canada, prompting northern US states such as Montana, Minnesota and North Dakota to take measures against the invasion.
The wild pigs, currently roaming Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, are often crossbreeds that combine the survival skills of wild Eurasian boars with the size and fertility of domestic swine to create so-called "super pigs" that one expert called "the most invasive animal on the planet," and "an ecological train wreck," according to CBS News.
What caused this?
According to the report, Canadian farmers just cut pigs loose after the market collapsed in 2001. The pigs persevered - with the strong surviving harsh Canadian winters, and the weak dying off. The result was highly destructive packs of pigs are roaming around, eating anything - including crops and wildlife.
They tear up land when they root for bugs and crops. They can spread devastating diseases to hog farms like African swine fever. And they reproduce quickly. A sow can have six piglets in a litter and raise two litters in a year.
That means 65% or more of a wild pig population could be killed every year and it will still increase, Brook said. Hunting just makes the problem worse, he said. The success rate for hunters is only about 2% to 3% and several states have banned hunting because it makes the pigs more wary and nocturnal — tougher to track down and eradicate.
Wild pigs already cause around $2.5 billion in damage to U.S. crops every year, mostly in southern states like Texas. And they can be aggressive toward humans. A woman in Texas was killed by wild pigs in 2019. -CBS News
Feral pigs already in the United States have caused some $100 million in property damage in Texas, where lawmakers have authorized hot air balloon hunts to eradicate the porcine menace.
Ryan Brook, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan and one of Canada's leading authorities on the problem, has documented 62,000 wild pig sightings in Canada, and have seen them on both sides of the Canada-North Dakota border.
"Nobody should be surprised when pigs start walking across that border if they haven't already," said Brook. "The question is: What will be done about it?"
"The only path forward is you have to be really aggressive and you have to use all the tools in the toolbox," Brook said.
Options for eradication include guns, traps such as the "BoarBuster," and nets fired from helicopters.
Looks like bacon is on the menu, boys!