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Feral Hogs A Growing Concern In Jefferson Memorial Forest

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife has begun an effort to trap feral hogsspotted in and around the Jefferson Memorial Forest preserve in Louisville. Officials say the animals can destroy forestland, carry diseases and multiply rapidly.Fish and Wildlife Biologist Jeff Nally says no one knows for sure how many of the wild pigs might be roaming the 6,200 acre preserve or surrounding farms, or even how they got there."My speculation would be that someone introduced those pigs to that area. It may have been trying to release them to hunt the pigs, maybe to train some dogs on the pigs. I don’t think these pigs in particular are escaped from a farming operation or anything," he said.Nally says he’s never heard of any cases of feral hogs attacking people unprovoked, but they can be aggressive if cornered or protecting a litter.Feral hogs will eat just about anything, and because of their destructive nature, they cannot be taken to another location and released.Nally says any trapped animals will be tested for disease and humanely destroyed.(Photo courtesy of Louisville Metro Parks)

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.