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Wild pigs cause problems in New Mexico

July 28, 2011 at 3:48 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, July 28 (UPI) -- Wild pigs in New Mexico are causing damage as they tear up land and crops and are generally destructive, authorities said.

"I'm continually working on pigs," Ron Jones, a U.S. Department of Agriculture wildlife specialist, said. "All it has done through the years is intensified."

The feral hogs have long been a problem in other states such as neighboring Texas, but they're being found now in every New Mexico county that borders Texas and as far west as the Rio Grande, KRQE-TV, Albuquerque, reported Thursday.

While the exact number of feral hogs in New Mexico is unknown, Jones says he doesn't expect the problem to go away any time soon.

Females can produce litters of four to 12 piglets as often as every six months.

"It takes more and more time, more mileage, more expense," Jones said. "It's just a continuous thing."

Each wild hog causes an estimated $200 in damage every year.

"They'll root up a quarter of a mile of road and it's really hard to fix," Bill Humphries, a Tucumcari-area rancher, said. "Because they'll dig big holes, kind of like bomb craters, in it."

Once caught, wild pigs are euthanized and examined for infections and disease.

It can be dangerous work.

"They're very, very aggressive, and highly agitated," Humphries said.

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