Wild hogs (also known as feral hogs) are the topic of our third installment in unusual animal sightings in Florida communities.
Wild hogs have become so prevalent in central Florida that they are becoming an increasingly large burden for state officials. The wild hog population has reached over 500,000 and they can be found in every county in Florida. These hogs are large (100-200 pounds) and cause problems for farmers, residents and state officials. Besides carrying diseases that could affect livestock, crops and people, the hogs are causing tremendous damage to the landscape, our neighborhood gardens and crops. They are doing this through the process of rooting, which is basically like plowing, causing millions of dollars worth of damage to Florida’s public lands, neighborhoods and farms.
To help curb the problem, the state has decided to hire USDA approved hog control agents as well as local trappers to deter hogs from specific land that they are trying to restore. They are hoping that this measure will help keep the pigs off the farms and out of the neighborhoods although, pig sightings have become more and more common. If you come in contact with or see a wild pig, be cautious, they often attack when they feel threatened (which is more likely to happen near humans or household pets). For more information on wild hogs please visit the University of Florida website http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw322