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Wild Hog Infestation Prompting Response From Virginia Officials

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Wild hogs are an invasive species in the Virginia wilderness.
Don McCullough: http://www.flickr.com/photos/69214385@N04/10789925935
Wild hogs are an invasive species in the Virginia wilderness.

Virginia wildlife officials are dealing with a growing menace and don't quite know how to address it.  A feral hog population boom is prompting concern about its impact on the local ecology, agriculture, and human safety.

Aaron Proctor with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says whether you refer to them as feral hogs, wild pigs, or wild boar, they are destructive.

"They destroy the environment. They destroy crops. They destroy tree seedlings," Proctor says.

Proctor adds that they carry all kinds of diseases that could annihilate livestock. While he downplays it, Proctor admits that these large animals with big teeth and tusks could pose a threat to the unsuspecting camper or hiker.

He says these pigs were set free by hunters wanting to introduce something more sporting to Virginia's rural areas. Proctor says that's not only illegal but irresponsible.

He also says the Department is looking at ways to eradicate feral hog infestations which, ironically, could include hiring hunters to trap them. 

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