Feral pig population continues to grow

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The feral swine problem is getting worse and the number of pigs is steadily increasing.

While feral pigs continue their destructive path around Guam, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says they’re keeping up the battle, trapping some 200 pigs since October alone.

USDA says they expect to trap another 300 plus pigs by the end of this fiscal year.

But Jeffrey Flores, the state director for Guam’s USDA Wildlife Services, says even with the more than 500 pigs they will have trapped, the feral swine problem is getting worse and the number of pigs is steadily increasing.

That’s because there’s no real system to control the feral population and limited resources and funding to cover the whole island.

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Flores says locals go out hunting but only catch one at a time and pigs are intelligent and adapt to human behavior to avoid ending up as dinner.

He says USDA teams instead use massive traps that catch up to 30 pigs at one time. But even with that method, pigs are still a persistent problem.

The average female can reproduce more than twice a year and each litter is 6-15 piglets.

What’s most alarming to the wildlife teams, is the rate of disease among the pigs they’re trapping this year.

Flores says Guam has the highest rates of leptospirosis among swine in the nation. This is a disease that can cause death in humans.

With a list of about 40 farmers and residents requesting trapping support and additional five calls per day for help, Flores says the only way to beat this issue is to keep up the efforts and invest more resources into trapping.

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