PERU — Efforts to control a population of feral hogs in the Town of Peru continue, though it is not clear how many of the animals may still be running free.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has been working for several months with landowners around Bear Swamp Road near Rulfs Orchards to capture and kill the wild hogs, which have been roaming the area since at least two summers ago.
“DEC is continuing trapping efforts for feral pigs on a number of parcels of land in southern Clinton County,” said David Winchell, spokesperson for DEC Region 5 at Ray Brook. “A number of feral pigs have been captured in the past few weeks, including a larger mature male, a lactating female and piglets.”
Ray Brook recently received a report that a local resident had shot a feral sow that was or had recently been lactating, Winchell added.
DEC first became aware of the problem when a feral hog was killed by an automobile on Bear Swamp Road two summers ago. The severity of the situation escalated last summer when landowners discovered at least 18 of the animals feeding in a cornfield one night.
Since then, the state has been actively involved in helping to eradicate the animals by setting up large traps in hopes of collecting as many of the elusive critters at one time as possible.
CLOSER TO HAMLET
“Trapping is the best possible method for eradicating the feral-pig population,” Winchell said. “As such, the owners of the various parcels of lands on which traps are set have prohibited public trespass and hunting on their land.”
Although the focus of eradication efforts has been near the original location of sightings, some hogs have been reported closer to the hamlet, where work is being done on a hiking trail that will eventually connect the town’s recreation parks.
Wild-boar numbers have mushroomed in some areas of the southern United States, and wild populations have also been identified in three counties in central New York. Statewide numbers have been estimated at more than 100 feral hogs.
Wild pigs are intelligent and adaptive creatures. They also can inflict serious damage on crops and wildlife habitat with their voracious appetites and foraging habits.
They also can multiply rapidly, with sows producing several litters a year, with four to six piglets at a time.
Although the specific source of the wild hogs has not been confirmed, DEC has noted that a property owner in the area raises wild boars that are sold to hunting preserves.
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