As wild pig territory expands into city limits, public health and safety concerns increase, according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extensive Service.
Whether you call them wild pigs or feral hogs, they are no longer just a rural problem, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.
Wild pigs cause more than $52 million in agricultural damage in Texas annually, said John Tomecek, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist. But it’s their encroachment into increasingly urbanized areas that is becoming a burgeoning problem for landowners and municipalities.
Texas’ feral hog population was 2.6 million according to a 2012 study. Now experts estimate their numbers have reached at least 3 million. Damage from the pest has been reported in nearly all 254 Texas counties.
Tomecek said wild pigs entering more populated areas is a growing topic of conversation. As human and wild pig populations continue to increase in Texas, he said interactions in urban-suburban areas will likely continue.
“It’s a subject that’s come up several times in the past six months,” he said. “Everyone knows about the rural problems and how they affect ag producers, but I’m getting more and more questions about pigs in the city.”
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