Reply All: #149 30-50 Feral Hogs
October 10, 2019 5:24 AM - Subscribe

A legit question from a rural American.Asher Elbein's piece on feral hogs
posted by Tevin (10 comments total)
This was really great! Like, it was fascinating to discover that the guy who wrote the original "30-50 feral hogs attacking my kids" tweet is not in fact the stereotypical right wing gun nut who was inventing a reason to have an AK-47. And it's really amazing to learn just how big a problem feral hogs actually are, in this day and age, in this populous a country. It sounds like something that should have stopped existing ages ago, but here we are.
posted by dnash at 12:39 PM on October 10, 2019 [7 favorites]

Agreed. This one was fascinating. I had no idea what a problem feral hogs are in Texas.

That Kaput solution would definitely cause way more problems than it would solve though. Good lord. You can (mostly) safely kill how many in a night during a hunt, but how long does it take to bury that many poisoned hogs deep in the dirt? Forget about the hazards to the biome and the environment.

Imagine though how amazing it would be if it were actually possible to negate any safety hazards by erasing them from the label.
posted by General Malaise at 3:29 PM on October 10, 2019

Also, I do think this one would have been fun to open with a Yes Yes No but that's just me.
posted by General Malaise at 3:29 PM on October 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

It was stunning to hear how quickly and exponentially feral hogs reproduce. They're like the new zombies.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:42 PM on October 10, 2019

The pigs were like rodents talking point made me stare at my screen at confusion, even though I knew there were no answers there. Like, was he thinking pigs were like . . . guinea pigs or something?

(30 to 50 feral guinea pigs would be adorable)

I only knew that feral pigs were a difficult problem before this because of Metafilter, so go metafilter.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:33 PM on October 10, 2019

Genetic similarity between pigs and humans: 84%
Genetic similarity between mice and humans: 92%

posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:46 AM on October 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

That seems strangely low given the pig/human organ transplant experiments that sometimes come up in the news. DNA match percentage isn't everything apparently?

We also have increased wild swine incidents in mainland Europe, the soft winters lately apparently increase the rate of reproduction, and the droughts mean less natural foods like acorns so they enter villages.

I agree with the woman at the end who predicted that you'll never get rid of them, according to Asterix we've been trying for 2000 years at least so far!

This made me wonder about our farmers, and of course we have a government fund (faunafonds) that (partially) compensates farmers in these cases. There's also some hunting though not with helicopters.
posted by kwartel at 2:11 PM on October 13, 2019

I completely understand and support the killing off of feral hogs, but man there was something really morbid about the utter glee at the dynamiting.
posted by graventy at 7:14 AM on October 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I agree graventy. It reminds me of this bit from Futurama.
posted by Cogito at 8:58 PM on October 16, 2019

It would be a lot easier to get rid of the hogs if hunters weren't cultivating them. Ironically, the best way to ensure the survival of an animal or plant species is to make it profitable to kill them. Other than the fishing industry, which seems to think fish spring forth from the sea eternally, most people make an effort to not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

The correct answer would seem to be to enact a policy where killing feral hogs is legal BUT doing anything to promote the feral hog population is not. I don't know if it could actually work but it's better than attempting to mass poison them.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:27 PM on October 17, 2019

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