The Feral Pig

Invasive Species

Why should we help?

While feral pigs may look similar to domestic pigs, they are much more destructive. They were brought to the United States as domestic pigs from Europe and Asia. Over time, some have escaped or were released intentionally, creating free-ranging feral swine populations. Prolific breeders, they can produce four to eight babies per litter. Feral swine are highly adaptable, but prefer habitats with an abundant supply of water and dense cover. They are aggressive and pose serious ecological, economic, and health threats.

Feral pigs exhibit wide variation in color and size. Their hair is coarse with long bristles. The average female weighs between 77–330 pounds. The average wild boar weighs from 130-440 pounds. The elongated snout is flattened on the end, and is tough and flexible. The males have four tusks that grow continually and can be extremely sharp. The upper tusks are as much as 3-5 inches long, and usually are worn or broken from use. There diet consists of plants with palmetto and acorns being what they most prefer.

Feral swine are aggressive animals that can be extremely destructive to fields, fences, and facilities. Their wallows can affect ponds and wetlands, muddying the water and destroying aquatic vegetation. They can strip a field of crops in one night and pose a threat to ground-nesting birds and some endangered species. Feral swine also can transmit diseases and parasites, such as pseudorabies, brucellosis, and tuberculosis, to livestock and people.