Feral hog reported on Hamilton mountain

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Published March 13, 2024 at 1:07 pm

pig
A pig was spotted in a Hamilton wetland.

A viral video purports to show a feral pig, which is still at large, roaming around Hamilton Mountain.

The video was posted in the Hamilton Neighbourhood Watch Facebook group on March 3 by John Behie. It shows a wetland landscape near Centennial Parkway.

In the distance, a large, dark creature moves away from the camera and enters the line of reeds.

While some commenters were concerned the boar was a feral pig, others believed it was more likely a runaway pet or farm animal. Either way, even domesticated pigs can “go feral” if they remain in the wild for extended periods.

In fact, most wild pigs descend from domestic Eurasian boar, which were imported in the 1980s as an exotic livestock animal, according to the Canadian Council on Invasive Species.

However, the pigs did not prove popular as a meat source and many were released into the wild. While farmed boars are not as common as their peak, escapes do still occur.

If wild hogs and domestic pigs meet, they are able to interbreed and birth hybrid offspring. During the rutting season from November to January, male boars roam far and wide to find sows, with a violent rage toward competitors.

During this period, they can impregnate five to 10 sows, who go on to have litters of four to 12 piglets come spring.

While wild pig sightings are more common out west in the prairie provinces, sightings in Ontario and Quebec have increased in recent years. Their suitable range is very diverse due to the pigs’ adaptability.

According to the council, Saskatchewan’s wild pig population is likely to exceed its human population in 50 years.

This Canada-wide population boom would contribute to major ecological harm through “rooting, trampling, wallowing, and eating,” economic damage to crops and a higher risk of spreading disease to humans.

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