Wild boars potential problem in Saskatchewan

SASKATOON -It’s an issue plaguing the United States and it may soon impact Saskatchewan.

Wild boars are running rampant in areas of the United States and experts in Saskatchewan think if nothing is done about the growing population soon, a similar problem may happen in the province.

“They are very illusive, a lot of people have wild boar in Saskatchewan in their area and don’t even know it because they are often nocturnal and they tend to avoid people,” said said Dr. Ryan Brook, University of Saskatchewan Assistant Professor, College of Agriculture and Bioscience.

Brook has been conducting research on wild boars and his analysis shows almost all rural areas in Saskatchewan make a suitable habitat for the animal.

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“So far it seems like the impacts right now are quite small but that potential to increase in the next 10 years is very significant,” said Brook.

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“You look at the reproductive rate of these boar are having two litters per year on average of six per litter.”

Over three million wild boars call Texas home. With a similar land mass and no natural predators in Saskatchewan, Brook believes they could have a major effect on the province.

“Spreading disease to livestock or humans or wildlife, crop damage, harassment of livestock, all of those I think could start costing millions of dollars in the near future if we don’t start to address this population growth,” he said.

For the past 10 years, Moose Mountain Provincial Park has been seeing the effects of wild boars. An eradication committee in the area is working to prevent destruction.

“In the last eight years we’ve taken 728 out of the park and the surrounding areas,” said Bob Brickley, Moose Mountain Wild Boar Eradication Committee Coordinator.

“The numbers right now in the immediate area are less than they were five years ago but what’s happening as we clean out areas they keep moving back in and that’s pretty time consuming and frustrating.”

The omnivores usually travel in groups and like most wild animals can be dangerous.

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