Monster Hogs Will Become Apex City Predators

Genetics. Age. Food/Cover.

Those are the ingredients necessary to allow wildlife to reach maximum size.

Without the genetic code animals don’t have the capacity for super size. Without food and cover it is impossible to feed their potential. And without reaching the optimal age, it is all a moot point.

These three factors are the reason why gigantic feral hogs will become the apex predator in many American cities.

Feral hogs have entered the city limits of many cities in the American South and are becoming major problems for animal control, homeowners, golf course managers and park superintendents.

There are no doubt hogs in cities like Houston, Orlando and others major cities right now with the potential to outgrow the average grizzly bear.

Greenbelts as well as abandoned lots, dumps and other open areas provide adequate nutrition.

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Domestic hogs left free to graze integrate with feral hogs and can produce monstrous offspring.

And then there is the age factor.

Once hogs enter cities there is virtually no way to control them.

Trapping has very limited effectiveness. Shooting them under virtually every circumstance is off limits for obvious reasons. No one will have the stomach to allow hunters with trained curs and pit bulls to capture/kill them and poisoning (where legal) is not going to be possible due to dangers to pets and people.

So, when that hog with the genes to be a giant enters a city, it has everything else it needs to do just that.

These hogs will do massive damage to everything they put their snout to and will pose a danger to people and their pets. Hogs are most fond of plant material but they can and often do prey on live animals.

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Photo submitted by Tyler Clines. Will cities allow effective means of capturing hogs like using trained dogs? The answer is most likely “no”.

That means “Fifi” the poodle could be on the menu when her doting mother takes her for a walk in the park.

Such hogs already exist and have for years but as hogs numbers continue to skyrocket even the urban areas in the feral hog’s range that have had no swine migration will see them move in.

Early in my writing career I got some revealing intel on such animals. The first was almost a face to snout encounter.

When taking my girlfriend (now wife) Lisa out on a date at a seafood restaurant we heard something step out of the cane just behind us in the parking lot.

As we fixed our eyes toward the racket a huge mud-covered animal emerged.

At first in the dim light at the back end of the parking lot I thought it was a young steer as cattle are common in any pasture, wood lot or in the case chunk of marsh next to the restaurant.

But it was no steer.

This was a hog, one that weighed well beyond 500 pounds.

It grunted heavily when it saw us (we were only 10 steps away) and then went on about its business of rooting up the ground.

The area the animal came from is a piece of marsh probably in the 300 acre range next to a large refinery facility. This is bordered by a large chip channel and a whole bunch of industrial buildings and homes.

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Hogs weighing 400 pounds are not uncommon and those weighing more than the average grizzly do exist. These type of animals will likely being showing up in cities.

Obviously that huge hog, perhaps a domestic set free to graze years ago as used to be common in Texas had found its nice. It does not take hogs much time to go back to their wild origins and integrate into purely feral populations.

This was not the only time I came across evidence of monster hogs in the area.

Around the same time, a man told me had located a really big black boar in a wood lot behind the Vidor, TX Wal Mart and wanted to know if I wanted to tag along with he and his dogs to catch it.

I declined.

Two weeks later a letter arrives in the mail with a photo of the hog they killed, all 400 pounds of it. I later drove by the area to inspect and saw the 20 acre wood lot the beast had lived in amongst a city of 10,000.

As hogs push deeper into urban territory, certain individuals will find these sanctuary areas that will allow them to grow to epic proportions.

It will be important to educate the public on these animals with a very special emphasis on not feeding them. Feral hogs are bad enough but feral hogs without any hunting pressure who know humans feed them will eventually turn to animals that approach people.

And at some point someone will get hurt, maybe killed.

I have written extensively on hog attacks and they are more common than many might suspect.

Having been chased up a tree on two occasions by wild hogs both in Texas and Tennessee, I can attest being on the side of their wrath is a frightening thing.

We should always use caution when hogs are around and realize some of them tend to be more Hannibal Lecter than Porky the Pig.

Chester Moore, Jr.

 

Mysterious Growls Pose Controversial Question

An enraged cacophony of growls, yells, and grunts broke the silence of the darkened forest.

While rabbit hunting in a remote East Texas creek bottom, my father and I happened onto something that did not appreciate our being there. With each passing moment the noisemaker seemed more agitated as it increased the intensity of its furious-sounding cries.

The sounds were guttural and and they pierced my 12-year-old soul, permanently embedding their frequencies in my memory bank. Although it is impossible to accurately describe them, they still echo in my mind as if I were standing by my Dad right now, wondering what we had gotten ourselves into.

I knew something was wrong when my Dad told me it must be a bull that got loose from a nearby ranch, as we retreated from the woods and called off the hunt.

No bull sounded like this. Not even close.

Neither of us had heard anything remotely like this again until August 20, 2000 while accompanying our friend Bobby Hamilton on an investigation into strange sightings in Polk County, TX.

It had been a long night as we sat out between a creek bottom and pine thicket. Other than a few faint moans heard in the distance, the venture was uneventful. That is until about 4 a.m.

That is when a low grunt sounded from a thicket 40 yards to the west.

Hamilton and I responded with grunts of our own and the mysterious noisemaker replied with great fury. A chill ran down my spine as memories of our encounter 15 years earlier came back. The tone was the same and so was the feeling we were in the presence of something highly unusual. This creature was without question the same kind that ran Dad and I out of the woods so long ago.

It started with low volume grunts and then worked itself into a yelling frenzy until it let out a high-pitched roar that can only be described as terrifying. After fumbling through our packs, we flooded the woods with the powerful beacon of a million-candle Q-Beam flashlight and the noisemaker retreated. Although it had approached us silently, it left cracking brush and snapping branches along the way almost as if it wanted us to know it was gone.

Just nine months before the aforementioned event, I encountered a howler monkey while fishing on Venezuela’s Lake Guri.

My guide and interpreter called the monkey a “mono vil” or “mean monkey” and after messing with one of the creatures, it is easy to understand why. As we approached more closely, it jumped from branch to branch, snapping limbs and increasing the intensity of its yells. Finally, I decided to do a series of grunts and see how the animal responded.

I would grunt and it would grunt. I would grunt twice and it would grunt twice. And finally, tired of my harassment, the monkey let out a loud roar and disappeared into the dense canopy of the South American rainforest

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Is there a relative of the howler monkey prowling East Texas? (Public Domain Photo)

This was virtually the exact behavior and very similar sound to what occurred 3,000 miles to the north nine months later.

The difference was we were investigating the sighting of large, hair, bipedal ape-like creatures most call “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch”. This particular case involved a public school teacher Hamilton had met who reported numerous encounters.

The encounters listed above sent me on a quest into the Animal Underground as a wildlife journalist to look into this phenomenon. Whether this is all a mass public delusion, a huge and complex series of hoaxes or something really is out there it is a huge story for someone in my position.

Did we hear a sasquatch creature that night? That is if such a creature exists.

Most won’t touch the subject with a 10 foot pole due to the controversial nature but that does not bother me. I am too curious to let the opinions of others halt a genuine investigation.

These two stories are some of the highlights on what has been an interesting sort of side trail taken in a career of wildlife journalism.

I wish I could tell you with certainty what the source of these encounters was but I do know this. We heard growls out there that matched nothing that lives in Texas either native or exotic.

Speaking of those growls.

I will never forget them.

Chester Moore, Jr.

Will the “green movement” be the death of endangered species?

It’ all about the money.

It always has been and always will be.

The cash cow of the “green movement” and its singular focus on climate change has birthed a monster that is bilking billions from the public.

It is also directly taking funds that might otherwise do things that can be tangibly measured like purchase South America rainforest to save it from commercial ranching and link habitat corridors to establish safe travel ways for tigers in Asia.

Does anyone really think any of the money going toward “climate change” is making a difference or ever will?

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All species of rhinoceros are headed the way of the Dodo bird. (Public Domain Photo)

Even if America were to acquiesce to even the strongest emissions standards do you really think China and other developing countries will?

Really!?

When is the last time (other than two paragraphs ago) you heard anything about saving the rainforest?

It was the thing to save 25 years ago.

And it is even more endangered now as are its inhabitants but public interest waned and the corporate environmental saviors in various charities and governments around the world found something more lucrative: climate change.

Ironically the rainforest loss is linked to climate change but you can’t get poor countries in South America to pay billions for protecting forest. You can however syphon billions out of the western world for the grandiose idea of reducing carbon emissions.

Remember-it’s all about the money.

We are allowing animals like all subspecies of tigers, all varieties of rhinoceros, the vaquita porpoise and a host of other highly vulnerable animals to slip into extinction with little or no mainstream interest in funding their protection.

And if the so-called “green movement” people who constantly say they care about wildlife and the environment had been watching these situations more closely species like the vaquita would not be down to 30 specimens. Their problem is poaching and if someone had jumped on the issue 20 years ago things would be radically different.

But that was about the time focus shifted from the rainforest to “global warming” which has now morphed into “climate change”.

That way if they find out temperatures are actually decreasing in areas they can save face. “Climate change” gives them a lot of leeway.

I have nothing against trying to reduce carbon emissions. It needs to happen across the board.

I do have a problem with some of the rarest animals, plants and habitats disappearing when just a fraction of the funds fattening the pockets of the climate change hierarchy would make a radical difference in their survival.

Stop being naive.

We will not make a dent in actual carbon emissions but many of you will have a dent in your pocketbook because you believed the sales pitch of people with agendas other than true conservation.

I highly advise investing in small conservation projects that are directly saving habitat from destruction, aiding anti-poaching crusades and funding research that could save endangered species.

Aim small, miss small is a key tenet of shooting.

It’s also a good way to think about efforts to save the planet’s rarest animals and habitats.

Chester Moore, Jr.