The bay of pigs down under

Australia is having trouble with wild pigs — and I’m not talking about college students who’ve had tooPigs
much to drink.

Experts in the northern state of Queensland say that the pig population is out of control.

The pigs are causing untold damage to crops as well as threatening native wildlife, they say.

It is estimated there are 23m wild pigs in Australia. That means there are now more pigs than people. [Link]

More pigs than people? The pigs need to get together and demand majority rule. Perhaps they can form a coalition government with all those kangaroos. Their first order of business: banning hunting.

Pig hunting has been popular with rural Australians for decades.
The sport even has its own magazines. Bacon Busters has a regular ‘Babes and
Boars’ page, featuring photographs of bikini-clad young women sitting astride
dead pigs.

But amateur hunters are struggling to control pig numbers and
the battle against the boar is increasingly turning professional.

Two years ago ex-soldier Paul Smith set up Boar Busters, a
professional pig trapping business run with military discipline.

Since then he and his trappers have caught and shot 1,200 pigs
in the rainforests and farmland surrounding the coastal town of Mission
Beach. [Link]

That’s 1,200 down, 22,998,800 to go. Smith once fought in Iraq and was apparently inspired to get a new career when he heard a fellow soldier shout, "Kill those insurgent pigs!"

"It is just like operating in a guerrilla warfare environment," he says.

"I need to utilise the information that I gain from the
local population and then to be able to effectively react to that
information to respond to the incursions from the feral pigs."  [Link]

Fortunately the pigs do not know how to use guns and explosive devices. But they’re quite capable of causing harm.

They have grown bigger and brawnier than their ancestors, with
150kg bristle-backed tuskers that are more than capable of goring a human to
death.

And perhaps the worst news is that their meat cannot be eaten,
due to worm infestation and disease.

In the tropical state of Queensland they are causing millions of
pounds of damage to crops and threaten the survival of endangered rainforest
animals. [Link]

It’s really a difficult situation. Not only are the pigs damaging human food, they can’t be turned into bacon and sausage (not unless they happen to run through the back door of Al’s Discount Meats).

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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