More than 6500 feral hogs eliminated from Southern Missouri in 2017
JEFFERSON CITY- On Friday, The Missouri Department of Conservation released its numbers for feral hog eliminations in 2017, yielding a total of 6567 feral hogs.
The majority of the hogs were found and removed in southern Missouri. 2858 were taken from southeastern Missouri, the highest density area for feral hogs. 2576 were removed from the Ozark region, 932 from the southwest region, and less than 100 were found in outlying areas across the state.
In 2016, the MDC removed 5358 feral hogs from the Missouri landscape, and attribute the higher numbers in 2017 to more strategic removal methods.
According to the MDC's website, feral hogs should be reported, not shot. The hogs are social animals that travel in large groups of 20 to 30. Killing a few hogs will only disperse the groups, making them harder to trap and remove.
The MDC describes feral hogs as a species that can spread diseases to humans, pets and livestock, damaging wildlife and agriculture.
"These are a destructive, invasive species that doesn't belong here; they're not a native species,” said feral hog elimination team leader Mark McLain in an MDC press release.
KOMU reached out to the MDC for a comment, but no one was available.
Feral hogs still haven't made their way to middle or northern Missouri. Several farmers from Columbia to Walnut Grove told KOMU over the phone that they've yet to encounter a feral hog.