wild pig_coverHOPKINS COUNTY, KY (11/16/12) – In response to reader inquiries, SurfKY News spoke with Thomas Young, a local biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR), concerning increased sightings of certain native and non-native wild animals. Young’s jurisdiction includes counties in the Green River Region including Henderson, Hopkins, McLean, Muhlenberg, Union, and Webster.

Residents of southern Hopkins County, northern Christian, and western Muhlenberg County have recently reported encounters with wild pigs, an invasive, non-native species to the area. Other isolated populations exist elsewhere in western KY as well. In fact, wild pigs are non-native to the continent and it is believed that they were introduced as a food source to what is now the southeastern portion of the US in the 1500s by the Spanish explorer, Hernando DeSoto, according to Mississippi State University (MSU). Over time and as the animals escaped from their enclosures, wild populations of these hardy omnivores grew and spread. The situation was exacerbated as well by free-range livestock management practices.

Much of the population of these highly intelligent animals consists of pigs that are hybrids of the domestic pigs introduced centuries ago and the Eurasian Wild Boar. Wild pigs are also known by the common names wild boar, wild hog, feral pig, feral hog, Old World swine, razorback, Eurasian wild boar, Russian wild boar.

Young said that the KDFWR is dealing locally with wild pig populations in a centralized area stretching from the Pond River bridge at highway 62, just northeast of White Plains, following the river corridor upstream (south) to Christian County, ending near Cave Springs Road. He said populations have also spread down the west fork of the river, just south of White Plains and crossing highway 813 (Apex White Plains Road) but, to the best of their knowledge, not as far as highway 41.

Beginning approximately two months ago, KDFWR, working with landowners, began an eradication effort in the area. Anyone sighting or harvesting a wild hog in this or any other area should contact Young at (270) 824-7045 or a local law enforcement officer who will then contact the KDFWR. These reports help the agency by alerting them to where populations may have grown, allowing them to target specific areas in their eradication efforts.

A recent similar eradication program in Hickman County, KY resulted in the harvesting of 350 wild pigs. Young said that the same KDFWR trapper assisting with the local campaign was involved in that successful effort. Although the KDFWR is concentrating on the aforementioned Pond River area, local outdoorsmen have reported to SurfKY News anecdotal evidence of populations many miles north of the highway 62 bridge as well as east of Pond River in wooded areas approaching the city of Greenville.

The US Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services (USDA) is assisting the KDFWR with the operation, providing traps. Young said total eradication is a challenge due to the fact that exact wild pig numbers are not known. “We’ve known about the population for close to 10 years,” said Young. “People had been harvesting them whenever they could, and we worked with landowners, putting out traps.” He said that efforts were “stepped up” following a late-August, 2012 White Plains Town Hall Meeting addressing the issue.

Wild Pig_2009_map

2009 US wild pig distribution 

Officials don’t know exactly how the swine infiltrated the area, but they strongly suspect that they were introduced by individuals who released them for hunting. MSU agrees with Young, stating on their website, “Range expansion over the last 20 years is mostly a result of illegal translocation of pigs by humans” and that 45 states now have wild pig populations. The animals are a nuisance to landowners and farmers, causing damage to crops and native flora. They are generally considered not to be dangerous and will avoid humans; however, when cornered or wounded, a lightning-fast charge combined with razor-sharp tusks can cause serious injury. Wild pigs can grow in excess of 500 pounds, with an average weight of 100-150 pounds.

A recently-stiffened KY State Law prohibits the release of a wild pig. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor, and offenders face forfeiture of the right to hunt, fish, trap, or to act as a commercial guide for a period of ten years. In addition, a conviction may now result in incarceration for up to a year, a $1,000 fine, or both.

Casey Piscitelli
SurfKy News

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

1 DOW 17,062.58
+11.83 (0.07%)    
2 S&P 2,008.10
-5.33 (-0.26%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,811.71
+0.92 (0.02%)    

Stock Report Sponsored by

In Other News...

Henderson County Traffic Advisory

HENDERSON, Ky. (10/9/15) — A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans another round of ramp closures at… Read More

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru Oct. 7, 2015

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (10/8/15) — The Hopkins County Health Department released the following restaurant/kitchen… Read More

Most Read This Week

October 06, 2015 4786

County Passes Occupational Tax Ordinance

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 4606

Alleged Attempt to Hide Meth in Doughnuts Results…

by SurfKY News
October 05, 2015 4018

Four Charged with Drug Offenses after Motel…

by SurfKY News
October 06, 2015 3707

Dawson Man Charged with Cultivating Marijuana,…

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 3150

Vehicle Overturns during Two-Car Collision

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Most Read This Month

September 16, 2015 13300

Mining Accident Fatality - Update

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
September 30, 2015 11364

Dawson Woman Dead After Princeton Factory…

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

October 08, 2015 1188

Madisonville Police Department Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 1048

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 977

Local Pastor's Son Filming Documentary about…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 779

Work Zone Lane Restriction on Pennyrile Pkwy Set…

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 672

Democratic Candidate for Governor Jack Conway…

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 653

Registration for Free 'Project Hire Kentucky'…

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 588

UPDATE: Mortons Gap Boil Water Advisory Lifted

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 520

UK Announces Major Outreach Initiative for…

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 516

Guns - Stopping That One Person

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 393

Officer Allegedly Assaulted by Burglary Suspect

by SurfKY News