Feral Hog Attacks! Swine More Dangerous Than Sharks, Bears.


Many a lurid tale is told of people encountering dangerous critters; sharks, bears, and the like account for most of these tales of danger and derring-do. But an invasive critter in the United States may be more dangerous to humans than most of the more traditionally threatening beasts – feral swine.


Officials up and down the country are warning of a ‘feral swine bomb’ due to an explosion in the population of wild hogs, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported. 

Wild hogs, an invasive species of pig first brought to Florida by Spanish settlers in the 1500s, have now been seen in at least 35 states and are destroying farmers’ crops, tearing up gardens and, in some cases, even attacking humans. 

One longtime animal trapper, Craig Greene, recalled a terrifying encounter with the wild pigs in 2008. He described hiding in his own three-feet tall cage, knowing there was no one nearby to save him, until they eventually ran off and he could escape. 

‘I know when they kill you, they’ll eat you while you’re screaming,’ he said. ‘I’d rather get eaten by an alligator.’

There are a couple of points to be made here, in the interest of accuracy. (And maybe just a little bit of pedantry.)

The animals in question aren’t “wild boars.” The Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa) is a closely related animal native to Europe, western Asia, and parts of North Africa. Some were brought to the United States at some point to provide sport on game preserves, and in due course, some escaped, and a little of their blood can be found in American feral swine today. But the animals we are discussing are feral domestic swine (Sus domesticus .) There is a school of thought that the latter animal descended from the former, and that’s likely so.


Why does that matter? Because of the vagaries of United States game-management laws. It is illegal in the United States to take native wild game (e.g. deer, elk, pheasants, grouse) for sale, but feral domestics do not count as native game in most places, and in some jurisdictions now feral swine are a “kill all you want” proposition. That’s with good reason; the feral animals are tough, smart, adaptable, and can be aggressive.

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The number of people running afoul of these beasts is rising.

In 2024 alone, there have already been seven deaths globally from wild pig incidents, the outlet added – and revealed the number of humans killed had climbed steadily from 2000 to 2019 to a total of 172 deaths.

Dr. John Mayer, a research scientist and manager at the Savannah River National Laboratory in South Carolina, told AgWeb: ‘Tigers, Indian elephants, Nile crocodiles, and venomous snakes kill more people than wild pigs, but wild pigs are certainly worse than bears, wolves, and all shark species put together.

‘Wild pigs are nowhere near the worst of the worst, but they’re far more dangerous than people believe,’ he added, describing the vicious ‘stab-and-slash’ wounds inflicted by boars.


A wide variety of tactics are being used to try to control feral hogs, including shooting (there are companies one can sign on with to shoot feral hogs with an automatic rifle from a helicopter, which is one of the most ‘Merican things one could possibly do) trapping, and even relocation; although, if one knows much about swine in general, the relocation schemes make about as much sense as shoveling flies across a barn.

Fortunately, the young ones can be good to eat, although the famously huge old boars one hears about now and then are inedible. Even with that factored in, though, the best humans can probably hope for is to fight the feral swine to a draw.

Here’s a thought: What about a business based on turning feral porkers into lucky sausages?