Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Michigan feral pigs and the increased threat of Pseudorabies

As many of you know,I have taken a keen interest in, and have been conducting research on, the recent feral pig issues.
Though most probably escaped from local game ranches and pig farms, it is also presumed some of the wayward swine are making their way up from southern states in an effort to seek out more abundant food sources and take up residence in territory previously uninhabited by their kind.

Washtenaw(the county I myself reside in) is apparently one of the hot spots in Michigan for encounters with wild pigs. posted an article in September 2008 which covers the story of George Albercook, a Washtenaw county resident who had spotted one of the creatures and was able to snap a quick photo with his cell phone.
The story in its entirety,can be seen below,along with George's picture of the boar :

Washtenaw County residents report sightings of wild boars

One of the mounting concerns with recent wild boar explosions,is that of whether they are a catalyst in the recent spread of H1N1,better known as "Swine flu".
While there has been no direct connection to H1N1,feral hogs are known to carry at least 13 different diseases,including anthrax, and tubercullosis.
Now, a new threat seems to be on the rise as the invaders make their way across the land. It is that of the disease called"Pseudorabies",which is another name given to the porcine herpesvirus1. The name pseudorabies comes from the rabies-like symptoms it was noted to cause in rabbits who had contracted the disease.

It is estimated that there are already some 4,000 feral pigs in Michigan alone.
Most of the feral population consists of a hybrid cross of domestic European pig(established here by human settlers) and Russian wild boar(most likely escapees from game farms),neither of which are native to the American continent.

The continuing question remains "What do we do about this?"
Since we obviously created this seemingly problematic situation,where then do we start to fix it so that panic and fear do not consume us as a population and cause "frenzied killing",as my dear friend Esther so eloquently and perfectly put it.

In closing,I would like to leave you with a little reminder....
The pigs themselves are not to blame,they are only doing what nature designed and intended them to do.

Note : If you would be interested in becoming a state chapter rep/contact for the North American Fortean Society,please let us know by visiting our state chapters page and sending us an email along with your contact info :
NAFS state chapters

Enjoy your afternoon and have a howling good evening,Haven fans!

Ta ta for now!
Your Mistress of the Mysterious,
Raven M.

Publish Post


  1. As someone living with feral hogs as a real threat (rural Tx), I have to say that they are as dangerous as feral dog packs and should be treated with the same caution. While they are not often seen, you are most likely in trouble if you DO see one. Sows with piglets and boars will attack if they feel provoked. Sometimes provocation is just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you better have a tree handy to climb.
    They destroy native habitat, (my woods look like they've been rototilled), will kill livestock or wildlife, (calves, kids, fawns, etc.) and really should be culled back when spotted.
    They are omnivores like bears, breed like...well pigs, and will eat anything remotely edible, even you.

  2. Thank you for your input,Maven!
    Its much appreciated!
    Is this by chance the Maven I know from Unknown Creatures yahoo group?

    It is always helpful to know what's going on in someone else's neck of the woods and compare notes on how it is being handled,especially in regards to something like this that may be becoming a bigger problem than we first presumed.
    When we add the threat of disease to the already increasing reports of attacks,it looks like it's going to be a long road ahead to completely resolve this issue.

    Thanks again for your comment,Maven!

  3. At least they won't give you Swine Flu...:)

    I couldn't resist. Sorry.

    Seriously, though...

    Great story, Raven!!!

    Hope you find some of them!!!

  4. LOL,cryptids! Thank you.
    I am indeed hoping to catch a glimpse of them,but hopefully from a safe distance. lol

    Any reports of them over your way?

  5. Terrific story, Raven! I'm going to have to post a quick blog about this now, pointing to your story. Your increasingly interesting posts simply make this necessary...I just can't help it!

  6. I live in Ogemaw county ...I've seen one cross the road in front of me ... no doubt what it was .. they aren't afraid of much ... dogs will chase them but not a good idea ... they can tear a dog from tail to nose with out even trying ...

  7. i do believe that wild boar are a problem.. i have young children and they like to play in the woods! i live in Ottawa county and even though they are not here yet it is a bit unsettling... i used to hog dog (the use of bay and catch dogs) outside of Corpus Christi, TX and found it.. not only fun but it put allot of food on the table, and i am currently looking to give unwanted dogs at the humane society or wherever a second chance at life doing what canine's were ment to do. i realize the population is around 4,000 to 6,000 wild hogs right now as of march 31 2010 the hunting season will end and we will need to wait until fall to hunt the boar again... in that time frame u will see the pig bomb go off there will be 18,000 to 25,000 juvenile and full grown wild hogs in Michigan. and in the begining of fall they will start to breed again. i am looking for farmers to let me house dogs on there property in exchange for protection over there crops and livestock...the use of dogs makes the hogs let a squeel that tells other hogs to stay away, it is not safe... it may sound inhumane but it keeps from the spreading of wild disease from the wild boar...
    Hog doggin has been around since ancient times
    now days we take better care of our animals
    they put protective vests on the dogs so they will not become injured and if they become injured we stitch the wound and the dogs love it...please help me out i would like to start training right now but do not have the space and i have no idea how to get the DNR to help..
    even though boar hunting is fun they still need to be stopped... i would love to do my part to help....

    email me at

  8. My first knowledge of the feral swine in Michigan came from a seminar given by representatives of the State and Michigan State University up in Ogemaw County. The presentation was great, going into detail on the economic, ecologic and agricultural impact of these pigs. It was stressed that the emphasis on harvesting is not just a hunting opportunity but an attempt to save Michigan from this threat.
    One photo was of a small herd in a backyard. I was surprised to find that it was in Washtenaw County.
    I am eager for an opportunity to begin harvesting in this area, not only to help control the numbers but to feed my family and loved ones.
    Any body with a spot to hunt, that they can suggest, please contact me.

  9. Abstract, you may want to watch the Washtenaw county DNR page for information as it periodically changes.
    Here is a link for you :,1607,7-153-10370_12145_55230---,00.html

    Best wishes and thank you for posting!



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