Hogs Wild

Suddenly, feral swine are everywhere.

  1. Of all the domesticated animals, none become feral more readily, or survive better in the wild, than the hog. Of all the larger animals, none reproduce as quickly and abundantly as the hog. The combination of the first fact with the second means that the number of wild hogs in the United States—maybe four and a half million, maybe five—is unlikely to go down. The wild hog is an infestation machine. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in westem North Carolina and eastern Tennessee, has today a population of about five hundred wild hogs. Since 1977, when the park began a policy of trying to reduce the number of its hogs, its hog—control oflicers have removed about ten thousand hogs. When hunted, wild hogs often become nocturnal. They are as smart as, or smarter than, dogs. A study done in South Carolina found that catching wild hogs in traps required about twenty-nine man-hours per hog. Past a certain point, removing hogs is too expensive and hard on the environment to be worthwhile. L...

The complete text of “Hogs Wild” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.newyorker.com.

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