Lawns are being torn apart by wild hogs in Florida

Group of Wild Hogs Running – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by WildMedia

Wild hogs are destroying the Florida neighborhood of Sun City Center, acting aggressively towards residents and digging up lawns.

WFLA-TV reports the hogs are likely attracted to the area due to the large amount of mango trees, which provide food, as well as a nearby lake that provides water. However, some residents blame property that is being developed nearby for pushing hogs toward Sun City Center from the woods close to the residential neighborhood.

“All of their habitats are being destroyed by the new developments that are going in non-stop,” Gail Dudley, a resident, told WFTS-TV.

In addition to terrorizing property, the pigs are acting in a dangerous and aggressive manner towards people. Though so far no one has been injured, residents are particularly worried due to the large amount of older residents, with local Sandra McCaw describing the area as a “retirement home.” A close encounter with a wild hog can be deadly as they can cause serious damage to anyone they attack.

The issue has been occurring for some time now–the interview with McCaw took place in 2019. While the new development may be igniting the problem, wild hogs have been acting aggressively and destroying property for years.

While the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recommends adding fencing to stop the hogs, Sun City neighborhood has a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) that bans fencing. However, Pete Pullen, a resident of the neighborhood, told the station he doesn’t think it would help anyway.

“There isn’t really much we can do about it because we’re not really allowed to fence,” Pullen said. “Some neighbors have fences, but how do you fence something like this that has a quarter mile of lake right beside you?”

Back in 2019, McCaw had a similar complaint.

“Everybody says oh that’s somebody else’s problem,” McCaw said at the time. “The [FWC] says they are a nuisance problem. It’s not a county problem. It’s not an HOA problem. It’s not a [Community Association] problem, it’s frustrating.”

Wild hog populations are booming throughout the United States, causing approximately $1 billion in damage year after year. Hunting may appear to be the solution, but according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it only makes matters worse because the pigs become nocturnal and travel over 100 miles to elude hunters. The only chance is for a hunter to shoot down a sounder—a herd of wild pigs—in its whole, frequently from a helicopter.

However, eating them is suggested as a potential remedy in an article written by Heidi Roth for Serious Eats in 2018. She claims that wild boar meat is “much richer-tasting” and leaner than regular pork.

“A free-range animal grazing on a wide variety of forgeable food gets more muscle-enhancing movement, which generates a deeper, more flavorful meat than an animal confined and raised solely on grain; and there are no antibiotics or hormone supplements to worry about with wild animals,” Roth writes.

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