New York feral pigs, you have no where to hide.
The Watershed Post reported that last week the US Department of Agriculture began using sharpshooters to track and hunt New York feral pigs from helicopters. The program is a response to the growing feral pig problem in the state, which threatens agriculture, landscaping and livestock.
The operation will run from January 28 through February 7, 2014 and will cover ground in Delaware and Sullivan Counties. While the goal is to eliminate several pigs by sniping from skies, the main purpose of the operation is to track the swine and study their behavior. Land owners must give their permission before sharpshooters can fire down on their land.
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“The main goal is to survey – to see if we can find any from the air, where are they, how many,” wildlife biologist Kelly Stand told the Watershed Post. “If they do have the opportunity to shoot them, they will take a shot.”
State officials hope that the program will help them get ahead of the growing swine problem before it gets out of control. Feral pigs were first discovered in the state in 2008. They cause a great deal of damage to local agriculture and landscaping.
Feral pigs are a significant and persistent pest problem in several US states. Texas and Mississippi are among two of the most affected states in the country, as pigs cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to agriculture and livestock each year.
In fact, they are reproducing faster than hunters can kill them. In Florida, the pigs have gone so far as to destroy an F-16 fighter jet. Yes, you read that right.