Have you seen this pig? How you can help fix Ontario's wild pig problem
Published Monday, October 7, 2019 3:26PM EDT Last Updated Monday, October 7, 2019 3:30PM EDT
Ontario residents being asked to be on the lookout for wild pigs.
It’s not hogwash, Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) actually needs your help to spot wild pigs.
“We are asking anyone who spots a wild pig to let us know,” says Dr. Erin Koen a Research Scientist with MNRF.
The Ministry put out the call for help in a media release Monday afternoon titled Understanding Wild Pigs in Ontario, stating “we’re trying to get the word out about these invasive animals”.
And if you live in the Ottawa Valley, you might just find one.
“We thank those who have already reported sightings – from the French River down to Lake Erie and east to the Ottawa Valley,” says Dr. Koen.
According to the ministry, wild pigs are nearly impossible to get rid of and once established and can cause damage to crops, habitats and native species, going as far as calling them “one of North America’s most destructive invasive species”.
Originally brought to Canada in the 1980’s as “exotic livestock”, some of the Eurasian wild boars escaped into the wild, breeding with feral domestic pigs causing big problems in the wild.
The pigs, they say, have few natural predators, can move far and multiple fast. Scientists say the hungry hogs tear up crops and pastures damaging farms and ecosystems.
“Once wild pigs become established in a territory, they are almost impossible to eliminate,” adds Dr. Koen.
So here is what the MNRF wants you to do: if you see a pig, outside of a fence, let them know. You can also track sightings there too.
The ministry is in the process of collecting all the known sightings to figure out how they should deal with the problem.