Wild Boar A Problem In Elk Island National Park

Oct 12, 2021

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Trying to get rid of wild boar in Elk Island National park could be a challenge.

The pigs managed to find their way into the only fully fenced national park in the country and have been seen by people visiting the park. They're considered the most destructive invasive species on earth and eat just about anything and have few or no natural predators. The wild pigs were brought to the prairies more than 3 decades ago to help diversify farms. But the market quickly evaporated. Some of the pigs escaped from their farms, while others were simply released into the wild. They're also known to spread disease and have been responsible for the spread of African Swine Fever to domesticated pigs in China and also in parts of Europe. Capturing and destroying them is a real challenge as they are very intelligent.

Darcy Fitzgerald with Alberta Pork shares that wild boar are a real threat to the province's hog industry. "Right now we are spending a lot of time trying to educate and working with the Invasive Species Society and try to get the information out to people. If you spot a wild boar, there's a program called 'Squeal On Pigs' to call into the ag department into the province. Let's be very honest, we are trying to eradicate all wild boar, when they're out in the wild. It just becomes a problematic situation for us, disease wise, but it's also problematic for our ecology too because it is a very, very invasive species."

It's believed wild boar caused more than 2 billion dollars in damage in the US alone, last year.

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