Feral Pigs

This passage discusses feral pigs and the damage they can do.

Lexile Level: 1200L

Categories: History Animals & Nature


One of the toughest, most resilient feral animals is the pig. A feral animal is an animal that was once domesticated but then returned to a wild state. The first feral pigs in North America were domesticated hogs that escaped from the expedition of the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1539. The feral pig population in the United States has been growing ever since. Feral pigs have no natural predators, and they can survive on a wide variety of food. They are notorious for being able to root under or wiggle through all kinds of barriers, so most fences cannot contain them. In the United States today, there are millions of feral pigs running wild in nearly 40 states. They destroy land by eating crops and rooting through the soil, they prey on livestock such as sheep and calves, and they compete with indigenous species for food and space. In Texas alone feral pigs cause nearly 50 million dollars in crop damage a year.


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