There is a large issue in this state that very few in Lansing are doing anything about. The economy can wait — that comes and goes in cycles. The prison system? Someone else can handle that problem. I am talking, of course, about the massive amounts of feral pigs running around this state, not to mention this very county.
I know what you’re thinking: Asa, this is a ridiculous premise. There is no feral pig problem. You are clearly not putting enough time into researching your work. I say to you, dear reader, that you are wrong. According to a Feb. 5 article in the Detroit News, anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 of these dangerous pigs are roaming around Michigan, possibly in your own backyard.
The issue has gotten so out of hand that these pigs have been given the ultimate in hunting go-ahead. According to Department of Natural Resources and Environment spokesperson Mary Detloff, “Basically, our policy is shoot first and ask questions later.” That’s right, if you see one of these pigs you can shoot to kill. But this isn’t just an inconvenience for the state — the pigs are lethal. They dig three feet into the ground, they destroy acres of farmland and they can hit speeds of 30 mph. These sometimes 200-pound boars can annihilate your land, eat your food, mate with your sows and be gone before the rooster crows to wake you up in the morning.
Not only are they large, nasty and pesky, they also apparently are becoming wary of our attempts at putting them down. One enterprising family had to build traps over the course of a month because the pigs were catching on to the movements of their enemies. We are officially at the point where we can stop being concerned about Watson — the IBM computer that competed on Jeopardy — killing us all, and we can fear the true enemy of the future — the hyper intelligent wild boar. Nothing is more frightening than a 200-pound beast with tusks moving 30 mph straight at you.
Luckily, there are some who are braver than I. One particularly confident hunter claimed in the Detroit News story that all the state needed to do was put a bounty on the head of the pigs. Throwing down the gauntlet, this hunter said that if a bounty was instituted the pigs “wouldn’t be a problem for very long.”
The Detroit News has for years run articles about the danger of the Asian Carp and the risk they pose to the Great Lakes. However, according to Dennis Fijalkowski, the executive director of the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy, our fears have been misplaced. In the same Detroit news article, he said, “People are concerned about Asian Carp entering the Great Lakes, but these pigs are already here.”
So there you have it. The real danger animal in the state is not some carp from Chicago, but the pigs we have roaming our land right now. I am going to let Fijalkowski have the last word in this article due to his magnificent way with words: “They are the enemy and should be shot on sight.”
Asa Smith is an LSA junior.