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3/8/2013 2:58:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
IDNR investigating wild boar found in Crawford County
PALESTINE - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is trying to find out where the wild boar came from that wasfound near Palestine Thursday.

The animal washed up at the Palestine boat ramp, and was discovered by LaMotte Township workers who were cleaning the ramp area.

It is not yet known where the boar came from, but it did not appear to have been in the water very long. It was being taken to a local meat processor, where the IDNR planned to examine the animal today and try to determine its origin.

Feral or wild hogs exist in both Indiana and Illinois, and wildlife experts say there are between 2 million and 6 million across the U.S. It's being speculated that the drought of 2012 may have lowered the Wabash River enough for some Hoosier hogs to cross.

The first reports of feral hogs in Illinois were in 1993, in Union County, with additional reports following from other far-southern counties, but also from Lawrence County, according to a study by Illinois wildlife biologist Chuck Zeiler. Since then they have been confirmed in at least 14 counties, in various regions of the state.

They have been reported throughout Indiana. A 2010 Evansville Courier & Press story reported on sightings concentrated near an old coal mine in Warrick County.

"Wild hogs," also called "wild pigs," "wild boar" or "feral pigs," are among the many names that refer to non-native swine and various hybrids that have either been illegally released or were formerly domestic pigs allowed to become feral throughout many states, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

They can be identified by characteristics including an elongated or sloping snout; a shoulder structure with a steep or razorback appearance; hindquarters proportionally smaller than the forequarters, lacking natural muscling found in commercial species, or visible tusks, which were found on the boar discovered Thursday. Adult wild hogs can weigh more than 500 pounds.

They are considered a pest, and can cause significant damage to property, destroy wildlife habitat, and can transfer diseases to domestic swine or to other animals, including humans. They can also cause extensive damage to crops and will prey on young livestock and small animals. They are nocturnal and will generally run away when encountered, but may charge if they feel cornered.

To report sightings of feral swine in Illinois, call the IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources at 217-785-2511. For more information on the impacts of feral swine, check the USDA website at


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