CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — There is an epidemic across Texas impacting farmers and ranchers. Feral hogs have become a multi-million dollar mess.
It is estimated that feral hogs cause $400 million in damage every year. Experts say there are a couple of reasons the problem could get worse before it gets better.
Feral hogs are a non-native species and have overrun the landscape of the southern U.S., with Texas experiencing some of the worst damage. It is estimated that more than two million hogs live in this state alone.
Recently, the horrific story of a woman who was killed by a pack of these animals brought the crisis into the spotlight.
"When people are dying because of a rampant feral hog situation, something has to be done," said Jon Gwynn, President of the South Texas Cotton & Grain Association.
Gwynn said people in the farming industry have battled with the animals for years.
"Feral hogs have been an issue pretty much my whole lifetime here in Nueces County," Gwynn said.
They are referred to as opportunistic omnivores in other words. They eat anything and everything in their path.
"There's always been hogs that have eaten grain and sorghum crops, chomping down. They chomp it down then go right on and get a bite out of the next plant, so they can rapidly destroy acres, even in one night," Gwynn said.
That coupled with the fact that they reproduce quickly and with large litters, and it is practically impossible to get them under control.
"Like I said, it's a full-time job, and we don't have enough time to take care of it," Gwynn said.
The problem isn't just in rural areas. Municipalities have also seen damage to flowerbeds, golf courses and more.
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