Pigs, which are not native to the Sunshine State, were introduced by early settlers and are often considered destructive.
MANATENE COUNTY, Florida — Manatee County Parks officials are working to remove an invasive animal that has lived in Florida for hundreds of years: feral pigs.
The same wild pigs sometimes end up on plates in local restaurants after being captured and humanely killed.
Pigs, which are not native to the Sunshine State, were introduced by early settlers and are often considered destructive because they eat the eggs of local wildlife such as birds, snakes, and turtles.
“We basically take lemons and make lemonade out of them,” explains Jerry Miller, senior ranger at Manatee County Parks. “We’re taking these environmentally destructive pigs and turning them into something that can benefit our fellow Manatee County residents.”
Right now, the county is using cameras and phones to monitor the traps.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, wild boars are found in all 67 counties of the state. They are found in a wide variety of habitats, but have been reported to prefer oak and cabbage palm hammocks, freshwater swamps and marshes, pine plains, and more open farmland.
One wild female boar can have up to 24 piglets per year. The animal can also reach a weight of over 150 pounds and be five to six feet long.
“They usually travel in small family groups or alone,” the FWC explains online. “Wild boars eat a variety of plants and animals and feed by digging into them with their broad snouts.
“They can disturb the soil and ground cover and make the area look like it has been plowed.”
To learn more about wild boars, click here.