Skip to comments.Hog wild: Parks, native plants, animals victims of increasing pig population
Posted on 12/28/2002 1:51:40 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_BeachEdited on 04/13/2004 3:30:06 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
It's early morning at Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve, just south of Palo Alto, and park ranger Susannah Anderson-Minshall sets out for a routine inspection in her truck. She soon notices something that makes her slam on the brakes.
A creek that was filled with fresh water until yesterday now looks like a muddy bog. The ground all around is dug up, and ferns and plants lie trampled. She doesn't need to look at the huge, round, footprints in the mud to guess where the blame lies. The culprits are wild pigs, non-native, sharp-tusked, black bristly marauders who have been causing havoc across Northern California's landscape with increasing frequency.
(Excerpt) Read more at bayarea.com ...
Remains of five victims found at B.C. property of alleged killer
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
PORT COQUITLAM, B.C. -- Police found remains of five of the 15 women Robert Pickton is accused of killing in their search of the pig farm he owns with his siblings, a defense lawyer said.
Reading from an affidavit that complains the prosecution has given the defense insufficient information, lawyer Marilyn Sandford on Monday provided some of the first public details of the case against Pickton, 53, who faces 15 first-degree murder charges.
A painstaking search of two properties - the pig farm on Dominion Avenue and a nearby plot where Pickton and his brother ran a party house known as Piggy's Palace - has yielded remains and DNA evidence in what police call the biggest serial killer investigation in Canadian history.
Being omnivores, they can eat anything that moves, so long as it is small enough for them to kill. The list is long and covers amphibians, reptiles, small mammals -- frogs, lizards, snakes, mice and even small fawns.
Actually, I remember a story of a boat that sank with a cargo of pigs.
The good news is that the pigs survived by swimming to a small island.
The bad news was that the island was populated by rattlesnakes. No one figured any pigs would survive..
The really good news was when the owners finally showed up on the island to collect what few hides could be salvaged, they discovered ALL the pigs were not only alive but MUCH FATTER since the boat sank. (the pigs ate the snakes, for you slow freepers out there)
So now Kalifornia will outlaw piggies, county by county. Not sure what that will do to... But more importantly, what are Greenies to do when animals (and not humans) impact soft, cuddly and furry critters? My guess is that it will be nothing but silence, just like the immigration problem where illegals stopped on their way North and ate the eggs of endangered species...
Meega, Nala Kweesta!
Does this remind you of illegal immigration, or what?!
Sounds like the islamic thing to do.
A better solution would be to hire Maruice Bessinger to serve them with mustard sauce. http://www.mauricesbbq.com/
As someone who has hunted boar I believe the solution is just that - get hunters in the area. The boars can be eliminated where that's what the land managers want.
A word of caution - forget about spearing boar. They are strong and very tough. In fact, a determined boar can inflict considerable damage on an unsuspecting hunter who thinks he's looking at "piggies."
For a descriptive story of what these "pigs" can do, feel free to Freepmail me.
$461 PER PIG = Fool Employment
Wild pigs are tearing up the Peninsula countryside and have land management officials rooting around for a solution to the pesky porkers.
The pigs pose a threat to dwindling natural habitat and might endanger humans.
So far the Peninsula hasn't seen any reports of pig attacks on people, but that could change, according to Kenneth Nitz, a member of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District board which oversees 47,000 acres of protected land from San Jose to San Carlos.
While there have been stories of sows charging bicyclists and hikers to protect their brood in other parts of the state, the pig problem on the Peninsula seems to be limited to damaged ecology, Nitz said. But if the herds continue to swell, it might not be long before the swine show up in backyards, which could be dangerous for small pets, children and even adults, Nitz said.
About 10 months ago rangers and visitors at some of the district's 26 preserves began seeing oodles of the bristly-haired, tusked pigs scampering about, the district's Marketing Director Stephanie Jensen said. The pigs appear to be migrating north from Santa Cruz County, where legend has it they were introduced for sport generations back, Jensen said.
On their way the pigs tear up everything in their path.
Dairy farmers in Santa Cruz County have hired hunters to kill the pigs, which churn up hillsides with their snouts in search of food. The pigs are omnivorous, scouring the land for grubs, roots and acorns.
Packs of the pigs not only uproot native vegetation, they also trample fields and creek beds that support more sensitive species such as endangered California red legged frogs, Jensen said. The feral pigs can breed at age 6 months, and their population can double in a year.
Trap and shoot
To counteract the burgeoning pig problem, the open space district authorized a three year trial trap-and-shoot program. Since September, Dick Seever, who traps pigs for the East Bay Regional Park District and local state parks, has been luring the pigs to box traps with a pungent mix of fermented grains, and then shooting the catch. So far, Seever has disposed of 68 swine- 17 sows, 16 boars and 35 piglets.
The carcasses are sent to a tallow factory at $25 per carcass for disposal. In order to donate the meat for consumption by people or zoo animals, the district would have to get a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector to inspect the live pigs at a cost prohibitive to the district, according to a report prepared by Jodi Isaacs, the district's resource management Specialist.
While some people might flinch at the idea of trapping and killing pigs, others say there's no way around it.
Dr. Aaron Burr, a La Honda veterinarian who specializes in large animals and livestock and served as a consultant to the Open Space District board, said the feral pigs can pose a serious threat to people. Feral pigs can carry a variety of diseases, including tuberculosis - a potentially fatal respiratory disease - and brucellosis, a painful inflammatory disease that attacks the joints Burr said.
Moreover the pigs have no natural predator except mountain lions, and even mountain lions prefer easier prey such as deer, Burr said. Trapping the pigs becomes an economic necessity when they destroy a farmer's crops and damage flora and fauna, Burr said.
But not everyone agrees with the district's pig policy, said Alfredo Kuba, coordinator of the South Bay branch of In Defense of Animals. Kuba said he protested the trap-and-shoot program last year by sending letters to the open space district board and doing television interviews.
"The problem here is humans create problems by bringing in animals and then we create more suffering by disposing of them," Kuba said.
Kuba said his group of 100 activists would support a program to sterilize the pigs and take them to somewhere where they won't harm the land.
Resource specialist Isaacs' report recommended the board look into sterilizing the pigs as a viable option compared with poison, which could harm other animals, public hunting, which is barred on preserve lands, and lethal injections, which cost between $411 and $461 per pig. Isaacs' report also rejected fencing the preserves as costly and unsightly.
Wednesday the board allocated $35,000 to continue the trapping, but board members encouraged Isaacs to continue researching chemical or surgical contraception for the pigs.
The board also agreed to spend $8,000 to hire a consultant to study the environmental impact of the pigs on protected land. The consultant will swap findings with groups from Sonoma State University and the state Department of Fisb and Game already studying the pigs at Salt Point State Park in Sonoma County to find out what level of pig activity is tolerable in the preserves.
"The district wants to institute a program that will protect the open space preserves and will be most humane, if we continue to undertake the pig control program," the district's Jensen said.
Bureaucrats sure know a good thing when they see one.
This is a way foisting their problem on everybody else and making money at the same time: fining landowners for "pig harboring" to help force them to sell out to... guess who?