Feral Pigs Going Hog Wild Across Growing Area Of US - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Feral Pigs Going Hog Wild Across Growing Area Of US

NBCNEWS.COM - Digging up fields and lawns, killing livestock and spreading disease, wild pigs have gone from a regional nuisance to one rapidly spreading across the nation.

The animals have razor-sharp tusks, a bottomless appetite and no natural predators, and experts say the invasion of the feral pigs has become a major problem that is moving north. "This truly is becoming a national crisis,'' John Mayer, the manager of environmental science at the Savannah River (S.C.) National Laboratory, told TODAY on Friday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that wild hogs, which can weigh more than 200 pounds, are responsible for more than $1.5 billion in agriculture damage and destruction every year.

TODAY's Kerry Sanders took a ride in a helicopter to see them firsthand, watching dozens on the run across the 2,000-acre South Fork Ranch in Okeechobee, Fla. "It's like having a rat in your house,'' Southfork Land and Cattle Company's Bill Wallace told Sanders. "They're just not a good thing."

In 1987, there were an estimated two million wild pigs in about 20 states, primarily in the South and concentrated in Texas and Florida. Now there are an estimated six to eight million wild pigs roaming 47 states. "This increase that we've seen in wild pigs is unquestionably dramatic,'' Mayer said. "We don't have another species here in the U.S. that has increased at this same rate."

Experts say the explosion in the wild pig population is partially due to hunters transporting them across state lines, plus some escaping from hunting preserves.

The animals also produce two litters a year, rapidly swelling their numbers. All of it could add up to a higher grocery bill for Americans. "The reason people should care is because eventually it could result in increased costs at the marketplace,'' Wallace said.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: All lanes of I-90 reopen after semi-truck loses load in downtown Spokane

    PHOTOS: All lanes of I-90 reopen after semi-truck loses load in downtown Spokane

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 6:25 PM EDT2018-04-25 22:25:01 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Jim Martin Trucking LLC out of Hayden, Idaho confirmed with KHQ the driver of the semi-truck involved in Wednesday's crash on I-90 in downtown Spokane is okay and is cooperating with Troopers. The driver, who was hauling crushed cars, says he was cut off by another car, which he says started the chain reaction that caused the crash. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Jim Martin Trucking LLC out of Hayden, Idaho confirmed with KHQ the driver of the semi-truck involved in Wednesday's crash on I-90 in downtown Spokane is okay and is cooperating with Troopers. The driver, who was hauling crushed cars, says he was cut off by another car, which he says started the chain reaction that caused the crash. 

    >>
  • 13 semi-trucks park under Detroit overpass to help man considering suicide

    13 semi-trucks park under Detroit overpass to help man considering suicide

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 12:41 PM EDT2018-04-24 16:41:55 GMT

    DETROIT - 13 semi-truck drivers parked their big rigs under a highway overpass early Tuesday morning to help shorten the fall of a man who was threatening to jump.  All lanes of Highway 696 were closed early Tuesday morning after a call came in just before 1:00 a.m. of a man threatening to jump.  

    >>

    DETROIT - 13 semi-truck drivers parked their big rigs under a highway overpass early Tuesday morning to help shorten the fall of a man who was threatening to jump.  All lanes of Highway 696 were closed early Tuesday morning after a call came in just before 1:00 a.m. of a man threatening to jump.  

    >>
  • Loss prevention officer shot at Dallas Home Depot had recently moved there from Spokane

    Loss prevention officer shot at Dallas Home Depot had recently moved there from Spokane

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 1:26 PM EDT2018-04-25 17:26:19 GMT
    Scott Painter (Facebook)Scott Painter (Facebook)

    DALLAS - KHQ has learned the loss prevention officer shot at a Home Depot store in Dallas Tuesday afternoon had recently moved to Texas from Spokane. Two police officers and a loss prevention officer were shot at the home improvement store on Tuesday. One of the officers died and the other is in critical condition in the hospital. 

    >>

    DALLAS - KHQ has learned the loss prevention officer shot at a Home Depot store in Dallas Tuesday afternoon had recently moved to Texas from Spokane. Two police officers and a loss prevention officer were shot at the home improvement store on Tuesday. One of the officers died and the other is in critical condition in the hospital. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Airline to pay 2 people to move to Iceland, travel for ‘world’s best summer job’

    Airline to pay 2 people to move to Iceland, travel for ‘world’s best summer job’

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 8:36 PM EDT2018-04-26 00:36:39 GMT
    WOW air Facebook pageWOW air Facebook page
    WOW air Facebook pageWOW air Facebook page
    Looking to travel this summer, but don't have the budget? An airline based in Iceland has the perfect job for you. WOW air is on the hunt for its first ever air-“travel guide.” If hired, you’ll live in Iceland for three months, travel across North America and Europe, and document your adventures for the airline— earning $4,500 per month. The airline even allows you to bring a friend along, and they will be paid as well.  The job consists of cre...>>
    Looking to travel this summer, but don't have the budget? An airline based in Iceland has the perfect job for you. WOW air is on the hunt for its first ever air-“travel guide.” If hired, you’ll live in Iceland for three months, travel across North America and Europe, and document your adventures for the airline— earning $4,500 per month. The airline even allows you to bring a friend along, and they will be paid as well.  The job consists of cre...>>
  • Inmate attempts to escape custody

    Inmate attempts to escape custody

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 2:31 PM EDT2018-04-25 18:31:47 GMT

    Adalya Breaux was in jail on residential burglary and theft charges.She was in belly chains, ankle restraints, and handcuffs but that didn't stop her. During her short walk from the Courthouse to the Jail, she ran from the armed deputies (well waddled from all of the restraints) and attempted to hide under a deck. She was quickly apprehended and booked back into jail with an additional felony charge of 2nd-degree escape.

    >>

    Adalya Breaux was in jail on residential burglary and theft charges.She was in belly chains, ankle restraints, and handcuffs but that didn't stop her. During her short walk from the Courthouse to the Jail, she ran from the armed deputies (well waddled from all of the restraints) and attempted to hide under a deck. She was quickly apprehended and booked back into jail with an additional felony charge of 2nd-degree escape.

    >>
  • Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, April 24th

    Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, April 24th

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 1:55 AM EDT2018-04-25 05:55:15 GMT

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, April 24th.

    >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, April 24th.

    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Airline to pay 2 people to move to Iceland, travel for ‘world’s best summer job’

    Airline to pay 2 people to move to Iceland, travel for ‘world’s best summer job’

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 8:36 PM EDT2018-04-26 00:36:39 GMT
    WOW air Facebook pageWOW air Facebook page
    WOW air Facebook pageWOW air Facebook page
    Looking to travel this summer, but don't have the budget? An airline based in Iceland has the perfect job for you. WOW air is on the hunt for its first ever air-“travel guide.” If hired, you’ll live in Iceland for three months, travel across North America and Europe, and document your adventures for the airline— earning $4,500 per month. The airline even allows you to bring a friend along, and they will be paid as well.  The job consists of cre...>>
    Looking to travel this summer, but don't have the budget? An airline based in Iceland has the perfect job for you. WOW air is on the hunt for its first ever air-“travel guide.” If hired, you’ll live in Iceland for three months, travel across North America and Europe, and document your adventures for the airline— earning $4,500 per month. The airline even allows you to bring a friend along, and they will be paid as well.  The job consists of cre...>>
  • Boeing donates $1 million to Central Washington University

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 8:06 PM EDT2018-04-26 00:06:48 GMT

    ELLENSBURG, Wash. - One of Washington state's economic cornerstones has awarded a large donation to Central Washington University. The Central Washington University Foundation has received a $1 million donation from The Boeing Company to commemorate the career of CWU alumnus, Ray Conner, retired president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and former vice chairman of The Boeing Company. The donation is 

    >>

    ELLENSBURG, Wash. - One of Washington state's economic cornerstones has awarded a large donation to Central Washington University. The Central Washington University Foundation has received a $1 million donation from The Boeing Company to commemorate the career of CWU alumnus, Ray Conner, retired president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and former vice chairman of The Boeing Company. The donation is 

    >>
  • Two Level III transient sex offenders move to the Spokane area

    Two Level III transient sex offenders move to the Spokane area

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 7:56 PM EDT2018-04-25 23:56:42 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is alerting the public to two transient level three sex offenders moving to the Spokane area. 38-year-old Joshua Epperson and 40-year-old Michael Cottrell are not wanted by law enforcement at this time. Epperson was convicted of third-degree rape in 2003. Cottrell was convicted of communications with a minor for immoral purposes and second-degree sodomy in 1998. Spokane 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is alerting the public to two transient level three sex offenders moving to the Spokane area. 38-year-old Joshua Epperson and 40-year-old Michael Cottrell are not wanted by law enforcement at this time. Epperson was convicted of third-degree rape in 2003. Cottrell was convicted of communications with a minor for immoral purposes and second-degree sodomy in 1998. Spokane 

    >>