Don’t ever underestimate the power of the mini pig.
Okay, okay, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t done that before. However, after watching this video, I’ve had a change of heart.
According to FOX5,this all went down in Vancouver Island, Canada.
A brown bear had made its way inside a farm on Sunday, June 18th, and immediately posed a threat to the other animals on the farm.
So, which animal stepped up?
It wasn’t a bull, it wasn’t a horse, and no, it wasn’t a goat…
It was a mini pig named Barbie Q.
In the wild video footage, you can see Barbie Q waiting for the bear to get within breathing distance of her, and then she proceeded to charge at the creature full speed.
All of the other animals ran behind a small hut in an effort to hide from the bear, but ol’ Barbie Q played hero and saved the farm from a bear that was probably looking for some live dinner.
Farm owner Crystal Walls said that she was on vacation in the United States when her house sitter told her the animals were “acting off.”
So, when Walls returned home and checked the security footage, she saw Barbie Q was the one who defended the farm:
“She was fierce and didn’t back down, and the bear motioned after the encounter (for her to) relax.”
Go ahead and put Barbie Q in the mini pig Hall of Fame.
Two Pigs Bravely Fight Off Hungry Black Bear In Connecticut
If there’s one thing most people in America can agree on, it’s that pigs are the source of one of life’s greatest foods: Bacon.
I know there’s those vegans, but hey, you can’t please everyone.
But it turns out some pigs are made of a bit more than just porkchops and tenderloins.
Take Mary and Hammy, for example. They’re two pigs living in New Milford, Connecticut and are now famous for the bravery they showed when a hungry black bear decided to make a visit to their pen.
The bear takes its time climbing the fence and entering the cage, but when it finally does, Mary immediately charges it, seeming to catch it off guard.
Hammy, hearing the commotion, comes running out of the hog house and spears the bear, who backs into the corner wearily. After a few tense moments, the bear hops out and all three go on about their lives.
“I am very proud of them because Hammy, the little one especially, he’s afraid of his own shadow and the way he came charging out when he seen Mary tussling with the bear”
Wild scene and certainly not one I was expecting.
Even though it’s the smallest type in North America, Black Bears are no joke and are known to snack on some livestock when the opportunity presents itself.
Fortunately for Mary and Hammy, that day they came out on top.
And how about that fence? Having a heavy bear just climbing and sitting on top of it and it barely moving is truly an engineering feat. Great work to whoever put that up.
America’s Feral Hog Problem Started With Only… 13 Pigs?
If you live in the South, and a quickly growing number of other regions, there is a nuisance animal that is almost impossible to ignore.
According to a 2020 report by Texas Parks & Wildlife, the population of wild hogs in the United States grew from 2.4 million to 6.9 million, just between 1982 and 2016. It continues to grow at high rates (18-21% per year) due to a “high reproduction rate, generalist diet, and lack of natural predators.” In the same time frame, feral hogs have expanded their range from 18 states to 35.
The same report cites a 2007 study done by the USDA which concluded that each wild hog has an annual control and damage cost of $300, putting the estimated amount then at $1.5 billion per year. Assuming the cost per hog remained constant, and taking into account the stated growth rate, the current population sits around 10 million with an annual cost of approximately $3 billion.
So how did this problem get so big?
Quite simply, they are not native to North America and their ability to consume almost any food source, coupled with their ability to survive in a wide range of environments, plus a real lack of natural predators has allowed their population to grow relatively unchecked since their arrival.
While humans have tried to implement control methods, like trapping, hunting, and “aerial gunning” (AKA shooting them from helicopters), these methods been ineffective at controlling populations at scale and prove to only be limitedly effective in controlled, small environments.
As the Texas report concludes:
“The need for novel methods of wild pig population control is obvious.”
But how did the hogs get here in the first place?
The first introduction of swine to North America came when Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, landing in The Bahamas with 8 pigs, per the request of Queen Isabella.
But what is now the United States remained hog free until Hernando DeSoto landed in Tampa, FL in 1539.
The hogs were used for food and to trade with the local natives, who grew quite fond of the taste, and can you blame them? The first one to try bacon must have fallen over…
Those original hogs brought to Tampa are the ancestors of the modern day population that is wrecking havoc on farmers and land owners across the nation, so just how many did they bring over that spurred all this?
Was it boat loads? Multiple ships carrying nothing but ravenous pigs, ready to make this their land of opportunity?
Not even close.
Hernando DeSoto brought just 13 pigs to America.
No, that is not a typo. Thirteen. One three.
It turns out that hogs do not require the same genetic variability as other species to grow stably, and when DeSoto died just 3 years later the population had grown to 700, which did not account for those that had been eaten, escaped to the wild (the true ancestors), or had been given to the natives in trade or gifts.
That is absolutely astounding. Chances are the people had eaten hundreds, if not thousands over the years, showing the true explosive power of the herd.
From there it didn’t take long for the hogs to spread far and wide, both through natural progressions while looking for habitat, and as more humans brought them along for expeditions.
Wild. Just wild….
So the next time your garden or farm land gets turned up by some of these pests, you can thank the original 13 for their contributions.
I wonder if hogs think of them as their colonies who broke free and started their own thing…
Joe Rogan Discusses The Massive Feral Hog Problem In Texas
The king of podcasting himself, Joe Rogan, recently discussed one of the most complex wildlife management issues in the country.
He used his platform to sit down with Texas chef and butcher Jesse Griffiths and educate the masses on the seemingly uncontrollable plague of feral hogs that continues to explode throughout Rogan’s new home state of Texas.
There’s somewhere between 2 million and 4 million wild hogs in the state of Texas (6 million estimated in the entire country). And because they have no breeding season, they reproduce at an astronomical rate. They can begin to breed around 5-6 months old, the gestation period is less than 4 months, and they can have anywhere from 2-12 piglets per litter.
Just do some quick math and you realize that it’s possible for a pig to have a few dozen piglets each year, who can begin to breed themselves before the year is over. It’s nuts.
So if you’ve ever seen videos of folks in Texas gunning down wild pigs from a helicopter, this is why.
And if you remember back to Jason Isbell’s Twitter conversation on gun control, it earned a viral reaction when Willie here said he needed one kill the 30-50 wild pigs than run through his yard.
Legit question for rural Americans – How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?