|Feral hogs are domesticated pigs that got loose and reverted to a wild state. They are an enormous problem in Texas and only getting worse. |
Screengrabbed from Wikipedia.
And they are well-established on the north side of Clear Lake. Let me give you a vivid example. About ten years ago, a huge engineering mistake was made on the extension of Space Center Boulevard from Clear Lake City Boulevard to Genoa Red Bluff.
|I'm screengrabbing from this Chron article because it's so old that it will surely fall victim to link rot before too much longer.|
There was just one problem with our provisional paradise: It was chock full of feral hogs, which would routinely scare the bejesus out of us with their stubby-legged but surprisingly-efficient galloping (and those giant piggie hooves would make the most ominous clattering sound as they raced across that virgin concrete roadway). Their galloping and their snorting and their general obnoxiousness. Feral hogs are generally aren't aggressive toward people, but having spent a bit of time in west Texas, I tend to treat them like javelinas, for which the general rules of thumb are (1) just stay away from them, and (2) if you have a dog with you, run for your lives, because dogs will bring out the worst of their aggression.
And yet even with all the utility-walking I've done, I've never seen one around here.
|The fact that we are a dense suburban area is no bar to feral hogs. Here's an invasion story published just within the past 24 hours.|
And yet they are conspicuous by their absence. I guess this will simply remain a mystery for the time being.
|This little piggy didn't go to market - instead, it got loose and created 2.6 million more little piggies in Texas alone. Look at the tusks on those things and you'll realize even more why we wouldn't want them around. |
In deep east Texas, I've heard that people trap them and castrate the young males, notching their ears before turning them loose again. That way, future hunters can look at the ears and realize that they're seeing an animal worth eating (males with active testosterone are said to be too tough and gamey). An interesting and efficient practice of pig-pay-it-forward.
Image screengrabbed from this source.