Popular Mechanics reports that a flock of feral "super pigs" bred from wild hogs and genetically-modified factory farm pigs have begun to spread across the Canadian wilderness, and their wake of havoc may soon spread into the United States.
Originally crossbred to help farmed pigs grow larger and tolerate the cold temperatures of Canada, a drop in the market about two decades ago led some farmers to let their hybrid pigs run free. Now they're running very free […] The super pigs have already traversed across the international border, dipping into at least North Dakota. So, expect an even greater occurrence as the hybrid population only grows. Like on public transit, if you see something, say something. The Squeal on Pigs website makes that even easier.
Field and Stream tried to raise the alarm back in January as well, in an interview with Dr. Ryan Brook, the head of the Canadian Wild Pig Research Project at the University of Saskatchewan. Brooks explained that Canada didn't the same problem with invasive feral hogs as the US does until around the 1980s. These particular super pigs were bred by humans for more robust survival in the Canadian cold — but that was before they hooked up with the other feral hogs, making this new breed particularly sturdy. And, by extension, dangerous, both to humans, and to wildlife in general:
For native species, the issue is dire. "Wild hogs feed on anything. They gobble up tons and tons of goslings and ducklings in the spring. They can take down a whitetail deer, even an adult," says Brook. "Originally, it was like 'wow, this is something we can hunt.' But it's become clear that they're threatening our whitetail deer, elk, and especially, waterfowl. Not to mention the crop damage. The downsides outweigh any benefit wild hogs may have as a huntable species."
And unfortunately, the issue may soon spread into the Northern U.S. "We have already documented pig occurrences less than 10 miles from the U.S. border. Quite honestly, I think there have already been some in Manitoba going into North Dakota for the last 5 or 6 years," says Brook. "There is no physical, biological boundary at the U.S.-Canada border. There is hardly any kind of fencing to speak of. There's a real risk of pigs moving south into the U.S."
The pigs are apparently also quite good at burrowing. Because that's what happens you breed super smart pigs specifically for low-cost survival. Oops. Now where's that 30-50 feral hogs guy with his gun when you need him?
Highly Intelligent and Possibly Invincible Super Pigs Are Invading America [Tim Newcomb / Popular Mechanics]
Population Explosion of Canadian "Super Pigs" Could Spread Into the Northern U.S. [Sage Marshall / Field and Stream]