August 21, 2008

Pigs Go Wild in New Jersey

Pigs have gone wild with destructive results in parts of New Jersey, say authorities.

Up to 100 feral boars have damaged golf courses, flower farms and other sites in Gloucester County. They are believed to be descendants of domestic pigs freed over 10 years ago and grown wild and potentially dangerous, The Star Ledger newspaper in Newark, N.J., reported Thursday.

"We caught one boar that weighed in at about 250 pounds -- tusks and all," Christopher Boggs, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said.

A growing national problem, feral pigs cause a wide variety of problems.

"They eat anything, endangering rare plants and degrading the habitat. They compete with native wildlife, eating the eggs of ground nesting birds like quail and turkeys," Lawrence Herrighty, of the state Division of Fish and Wildlife, told The Star Ledger.

State and federal officials are working to eradicate the boars.

"We are fortunate, in one regard, in that New Jersey is among a very few states where the population is small enough and not dispersed that we should be able to eradicate them," Herrighty said to the newspaper.


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