Friday, December 10, 2010

Hogs and helicopters



A wild pig doesn't have to be Hogzilla to be menacing, but when you add a helicopter into the mix they don't stand a chance. Texans consider this a good thing, since feral pigs (a.k.a. boars, hogs, or razorbacks) are an invasive species that has overrun their state. An estimated 2 million wild hogs cause $52 million a year in crop damage. They eat everything - including each other, root up plants and turf, trample crops and fences, pollute water sources, and steal animal feed. Ordinary citizens can't pay to hunt from a helicopter, but the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department will issue a permit to helicopter operators for aerial wildlife and exotic animal management. As long as the gunners aboard have a valid Texas hunting license, and landowners agree to allow the helicopter shootings on their land, they can take aim at dozens of the beasts before they reproduce further. "You can kill 300 in a day from up here in the Panhandle and you've just slowed them down is all," says the pilot of what some are calling a "pork chopper." The helicopter can be deadly for the hunted - and occasionally for the hunters. But in Bagneres-de-Luchon, France, on Monday, a helicopter was used not to shoot wild pigs, but to extricate a 30-year-old woman who had been chased up a tree by them!

1 comment:

  1. Those wild boars are scary looking. I remember hearing about a car accident here in France in which a car hit a group of them standing in the road. Everyone in the car was killed. I don't know if any boars survived.

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