Some feral swine I encountered while out photographing wildlife several months back:
They are surprisingly cute when they aren’t charging at you through razor-sharp scrub palms. Open thread!
by Betty Cracker| 143 Comments
This post is in: Nature, Open Threads
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J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
Feral Swine is the name of my Ted Nugent tribute band.
Did you or your family ever have one charge you?
Hmmmm, magical animals!
@J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Dou you take requests?
Am I the only one who thought that this going to be a post about Rs?
Expected a picture of the legislature.
@Aleta: There are few things more terrifying in nature than emerging from some scrub brush and realizing you are in the middle of a rutting field for feral hogs.
Why are pigs so cute?
@schrodingers_cat: It’s what I was expecting.
Gin & Tonic
@aimai: And why do they taste so damn good?
They look kind of large, the adults do. The little ones are cute but I would only photograph them with a long lens. I will admit to cowardice in this instance.
Are these ex-domestic animals? Gotten loose several generations ago? or are these a native pig? Silly question, are pigs even native to this continent?
Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady)
Ooh. Charlotte’s Web.
@aimai: They look like some of my Ozarks cousins, but it’s not so cute on the humans.
My roof is being worked on, with noisy machines, footsteps, and shoveling. My critters HATE it.
I find the corrupt doings of the Republicans in Congress (We’re gonna make you Dems give up on Dreamers or little sick kids, hahaha!) and their guy in the White House disgusting. This is one of those days when I just stare in disbelief at the monitor.
I guess I should not expect anything from myself today, although I am managing to read the Simpson testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. Slowly.
Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD)
Anyone else watch the Fat Albert movie here?
@Gin & Tonic: IIRC, genetically, they’re the closest mammals to humans. Just sayin’.
@opiejeanne: Pigs are not native to this continent; closest thing would be the peccary of the southwest. Feral pigs are a problem in many areas because they’re highly destructive.
Pigs are intelligent and emotional. If I were not a spineless coward I would never eat another slice of bacon.
And NPR (damn them) is repeating the administration “Schumer shutdown” line without any context about how the Republicans control all branches and can’t keep the crazies in their own party under control.
This has probably been posted before https://twitter.com/kenvogel/status/954428541806043136 but I’m posting again in case you missed it. The feral pigs are cuter.
I read the article and checked the facebook page, and yes they are using Trump’s picture with Stormy.
@Spanky: Can’t be bothered to google, etc., but I thought chimps were the closest DNA-wise to humans.
Those don’t look very feral to me and I used to be in the hog business.
Those look like decent meat type hogs.
Frank Lutz is interviewing trump voters this evening, same group he interviewed a year ago.
I have this fear this will be repeated by lazy media year after year.
@satby: I saw the best name for it on Twitter:
@Jerzy Russian: Maybe they’re tasty too!
@jharp: Joni Ernst? Is that you?
I know today is all about the shutdown and the porn star but I’d like to go back a little earlier in the week before I forget in the next installment of the horror show.
Dementia seems to run in the female side of my family. So far it’s taken my grandmother in the 90s and then her daughter, my mother, three years ago. I have five sisters so we’re… interested. One of my sisters is an academic and she’s been studying dementia for the last fifteen years so of course we’ve been talking about the shitgibbon. She sent me this gentle reminder today:
I remember the day Mom didn’t recognise me, her firstborn. I hadn’t seen her in almost a year but still… Five years after that my mother was a very loopy and sometimes dangerous little woman in a locked ward in a nursing home.
Tests don’t mean much.
@Spanky: You spank the monkey. You don’t eat it.
I’d be wary about the ‘cuteness’ of pigs. They get big, and they’re smart– And then, like their human cousins, they’re not so cute. And here are some words about pygmy or ‘teacup’ pigs. In a word, Don’t.
Some pigs are drunk in Dublin. Not me.
More Evidence of a Connection Between Russia and Cambridge Analytica
by Nancy LeTourneau
January 19, 2018
That is all by way of background for this news:
Granted, it’s possible that Russia didn’t facilitate the UAE’s decision to contract with Cambridge Analytica. But it’s clear that the company founded by right wing billionaire Robert Mercer is the global go-to firm (see: Brexit) for spreading exactly the kind of fake news Russia promulgated in the U.S. during the 2016 campaign.
@frosty fred: Oh yes, there were feral pigs in the SF bay area, in one particularly expensive district. They were notorious for uprooting a lot of very expensive landscaping. There was a comic strip in the SF Chronicle the name of which escapes me right now, that would do a feature on the feral pigs every now and then.
@Aleta: Not since I was a kid, but yes, I have been chased by wild pigs, and it’s pretty scary!
RE: the photo above: I was at a pond in a wooded area hoping to photograph some wood storks I’d seen earlier when this herd of hogs came crashing through the bushes and descended on the pond. It was pretty cool. I’d guess there were at least a dozen or so. I was far enough away not to be scared; knew I could get back to my truck quicker than they could get to me!
In Korea they would get the pigs drunk on rice wine so they could take them to market on their bikes!
@Betty Cracker: There is a reason people carry rifles in their gun racks out in the boonies.
On the “I didn’t think I had it in me anymore” front, I grew a beard over the week of Christmas to New Years.
I was thinking of shaving it. Then my mom tells me she doesn’t like it.
And I am not going to let my mom be the boss of me anymore, so I decided to keep it.
I thought I got that out of my system, sometime, when I was in college. But damn the instincts of 16 year old me are still strong.
What no pics of Stormy Daniels with feral pigs?
Oh yeah. There are shots of her with the Donald all over the web.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
I’ve never read all of Dickens’ American Notes (keep promising myself I will one of these days) but in the part I did read, I remember him complaining about the pigs running wild through Manhattan.
A yuge feral pig population remains in the Santa Cruz mountains and yeah, a couple could invade a nice yard in say, Woodside and create a lot of havoc. They’re an invasive species but far smarter than any efforts to get rid of them. You’d think the booming mountain lion population would reduce them but deer and pets are much easier prey.
HST’s autobiography includes a period he lived there and hunted them.
There was a very social feral pig who used to run along my neighbor’s fence and get the dogs chasing him, and then he’d turn around and run the other way along the fence; he loved to rile up those dogs…It was definitely on purpose. Then my neighbor got mad at the pig rooting up her grass and had him shot and presumably eaten. The end.
@trollhattan: I want to say that these pigs were in the Noe Valley, which makes no sense to me. The city tried repeatedly to round them up but could never get them all.
@pinacacci: Poor Piggy-wig.
@kindness: Link at 20… She’s going to be at a strip joint in SC and they are using the don picture to advertise.
He’s a pig so it’s not off topic.
@opiejeanne: Farley by Phil Frank. Sadly he died. Fun strip it was.
none of my students knew what “feral” meant today. (discussing cattle industry and longhorns in the late 19th century.)
I am always amazed at what college students do not know…
Back in 1991 my family went down to Florida for the Christmas holidays. We wound up driving around on the back roads, as our habit, and came upon a bar and Grill doing a benefit for some young girl with cancer. Out of the back a couple of guys were cooking a barbecue and all manner of pork. I asked them where they got it, they told me they had shot it down by the river . It was delicious
Guess I was lucky. Parents never mentioned my beard, one way or another. They had decades and either it never made an impression, they liked it or didn’t give a shit. I’m going with one or three. No, going with three, way back then I only trimmed it once a year.
@Spanky: that’d be a surprise to the other apes. ;)
Me too. That’s scary, I think?
@Ceci n est pas mon nym:
How prescient was that? I don’t think Fred’s father had even come here yet. (And it would have been Queens, anyway.)
@gene108: had mine 30+ years. My Mom did not like it, my girlfriend at the time did. Then I met my wife and she likes it. that’s all that matters to me.
Overheard an 80-something friend ask my wife what it was like kissing a man with a beard because she never had.
Wife: It’s nice.
80YO: Can I kiss him to see?
Which is crazy. Wildlife corridors in and out of San Francisco are, shall we say, lacking.
Am told a raccoon family lives in the storm drains near my office and pop out at the sidewalk every evening to go do their raccoon thing. This is in the densest part of downtown and they just don’t care. Maybe they’re honey badgers?
Pigs are intelligent and emotional.
This is true.
However, unlike cows, sheep, and horses, they’re not very good company, even when well-kept.
Do not, for example, seriously injure a leg and crawl bleeding through a hog lot on the way for help.
And do not light-heartedy undertake to corner feral swine.
It’s no joke that before firearms, hunting boar was considered more dangerous than bear.
@woodrowfan: This is a beard.
A moment of respect for Wu’s pigs on “Deadwood”–cleaning up the town one murder victim at a time.
Trump now calling for a 4 week funding extension so that he can get away
genetically, they’re the closest mammals to humans.
I know what you’re saying, but it’s utterly false.
Pigs have some _metabolic_ and _physiological_ similarities to humans,
because they and we are adaptable, opportunistic omnivores:
so a digestive tract shorter than an herbivore, but longer than an obligate carnivore.
The remaining animals most genetically similar to humans, in decreasing order of similarity, are
– the two (other) species of chimpanzee (humans being one of the three)
– the gorillas
@opiejeanne: Haven’t there been pigs running around loose in Florida since the Spanish brought them over in the late sixteenth century? There were European pigs in Florida before there were Brits in Virginia or New England.
Here in East Sac I had a sewer raccoon latrine in my backyard for several months. It took a lot of countermeasures to get them to move on.
There was a comic strip in the SF Chronicle the name of which escapes me right now, that would do a feature on the feral pigs every now and then.
@daverave: My brother in LA had two fucking on his front lawn at Christmas
@J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Like
Was expecting a picture of Elaine Chao
Someone told me that pigs and bears are closely related. Is that true?
I did the same and my MIL (whom I love) also launched into me. Like a good SIL, I obeyed her. :-)
Actually, I came to realize that having a “face garden” was a) sort of uncomfortable, and b) required too much daily/weekly work to keep clean and maintain.
I’m impressed with the guys who carry them off (seemingly) so effortlessly. One of them did advise that the secret is “beard oil”. I asked him if 10w30 would suffice and he was not amused.
A month or two ago one of Chris Matthews’s guests used the word feral, and Matthews said, “What kind of animal is that?” I think he thought it was something like feline, ovine or vulpine. The conversation was moving pretty quickly, so it didn’t lead to an uncomfortable moment, just got skipped over.
ETA: This reminds me that last night on MSNBC I heard one of the pundits refer to the “shutdown brouha.” Ugh.
@Faithful Lurker: only by marriage
Took my climber grandson to Pinnacle National Park (Thanks Obama!) we were walking back from an afternoon of him climbing and me belaying and a huge feral hog walked right by us. The ranger told us that there is a sizable population in the park and they were escapees from area ranches and farms. She remarked that if any of them get to be a big problem in the camp grounds, they hunt them down and the staff has a pig roast. Said they are very tasty.
@joel hanes: Nah, just me.
Here’s them Valley Raccoons.
@Steeplejack: Be thankful that misogynist didn’t know or he would have cracked a Hillary joke.
Depends on what you mean by “closely”
They’re both mammals, so there’s that.
But I sure wouldn’t say they were close.
It’s been a looong time since cloven-hoofed animals and carnivore-clawed animals shared a common ancestor — and the bears have been distinct in the Carnivora since shortly after that time.
IIRC, pigs are closer to whales than to bears.
Used to be that the proprietor of Teske’s Germania in downtown San Jose could occasionally get and prepare wild boar in the traditional German manner. They are, as you say, very tasty.
Indeed. On the hog farms blood meal is mixed into their food to keep them from killing and eating each other.
We were just at Pinnacles the first week of the month for a few days. Beautiful environment. We saw a lot of raccoons, especially in the campground, and some evidence of pigs, too. There are many ranches in the mountains in that area that have been set up with hunting clubs for pigs. They get YUGE!
Also I must say that Pinnacles maybe should have stayed a National Monument. IMHO, it does not have the basic facilities such as trailhead parking to accommodate its new higher profile. They do run a shuttle but only Saturday/Sundays in the winter. It must be a clstrfk at the most popular seasons particularly for wildflowers. NP status tends to bring in both US and particularly international visitors that may have given it a pass in the past.
Steve in the ATL
My attic is being invaded by squirrels, with noisy scratching, nut burying, and what sounds like raw animal passion. My wife and I HATE it.
I sometimes throw the cat up there to chase them off. It used to work well, but not anymore. We are convinced that they have become friends, or at least negotiated a truce. Cat may have to lose his bed sleeping privileges. And no more tuna–dry food only! You want wet food, catch and eat a squirrel, you lazy bastard.
@Steve in the ATL: It’s also dangerous, fuckers will eat though wires and burn your house down. You need professional help on that. Had a nice talk with Mr Evidence today, his son is playing Eddie’s Attic Tuesday with SUZANNE SLAIR .
Yes, the old saying “went to shit and the hogs ate em”
Steve in the ATL
@raven: I suspect they are slowing down my wifi.
Would go hear Carlson’s boy play, but I will be in the Bay Area on Tuesday. And the next day. And so on until I catch the redeye home on Feb. 2. Some potential for a Bay Area meet up, fans!
@Steve in the ATL: Put moth balls in your attic and see if that will keep them out. You can buy them where they are in cheesecloth and just toss them about.
Steve in the ATL
@JPL: tried that. Worked briefly. Have had slightly better luck with Havahart anti-squirrel crystals and ammonia-soaked rags. Nothing lasts for long, though. I may import an Alabama native to trap them for Brunswick stew.
Looks like talks to avert the shutdown are really coming along.
@Steve in the ATL: Sarah Sanders can probably help you with recipes.
@opiejeanne: Seems to me one was named D. Pork Choppa.
@woodrowfan: Ain’t that the [email protected]joel hanes: Thanks. That’s what I thought. but people here hunt bears and eat them. They say bear meat tastes like pork so they thought they were related. Now that you mention the hooves and claws, I can see how wrong that is. Like killing bears, that really distresses me.
We lived in Malaysia for two years and had wild boar curry. Great stuff. In a South Indian restaurant, I should mention, not Malay (Muslim).
Steve in the ATL? Yeah.
@Steve in the ATL: he’s a rollin stone how how. . .
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@Yarrow: Reading around I am getting this vibe that both parties in congress have decided that Trump is going to take the blame for this with the voters and letting what happens, happen.
@Steve in the ATL:
My guess is porn.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: Squirrel porn?
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: I’m not sure how Republicans in Congress can deflect blame to Trump. Never has worked for the President’s party.
And this crew doesn’t seem that sharp anyway.
@Baud: Maybe, it is Steve in the ATL we’re talking about here.
Gorillas. Sharks, and now Squirrels. When will it all end?
@Baud: Maybe cat porn and that’s why sending the cat up to the attic isn’t working anymore. Those squirrels know how to keep the cat distracted.
And then do what with the dead bodies?
@Baud: And Yarrow provides the answer. Cat porn.
@debbie: Steve knows union thugs; I’m sure if he asks nicely, they can help with that.
Trump’s tweet makes it sound like he’s the go-between. Suckers. They’ll all be pissed off.
I assume that’s what Schumer proposed, with a commitment to vote on DACA in that time.
For a price, yes…
I went to a “Game Dinner” at the Harvard Club, a tradition going back to Teddy R.. One of the dishes was bear meat, guys in tuxedos were throwing up on the sidewalk after dinner. It was the gamiest of gamy meat and it didn’t taste anything like pork.
@Steve in the ATL:
One of the ways Jimmy Kimmel first made his name on the radio here in LA was with his imitation of basketball player Karl Malone, who’s an Alabama country boy who liked to talk about his childhood hunting squirrels for dinner.
Fortunately for Kimmel, Malone thought it was hilarious.
It took me a shockingly long time to realize that you’re probably referring to Hunter S. Thompson and not the 33rd POTUS!
Steve in the ATL
@SiubhanDuinne: you must be old. I had to altavista a list of presidents to figure out that reference.
Watched a segment once on Soko ga Shiritai wherein they were served and ate bear sashimi. More precisely, bear paw sashimi.
@Sab: My husband tells me DeSoto’s crew established feral pigs in Florida. This may or may not be true. Sometimes he makes shit up just to see if I’ll believe it. ?
Steve in the ATL
@Mnemosyne: squirrel brains are a breakfast delicacy there too. I first, and last, had authentic Brunswick stew in Athens my first week of law school. Turns out going to law school wasn’t my worst decision after all!
“The name is Swine. Feral Swine.”
Steve in the ATL
@debbie: @?BillinGlendaleCA: I have two kids in private colleges so I can’t afford union labor. Just put an ad on Craigslist for some scab squirrel hunters.
No offense, but you look like you’re auditioning for Duck Dynasty.
Steve in the ATL
@Jager: you aren’t living up to your nym!
Steve in the ATL
@debbie: moth balls, ammonia, etc. don’t kill squirrels. They just (in theory) drive them off with pungent odors that offend the sensitive squirrel olfactory receptors.
I would prefer lethal moth balls.
@SiubhanDuinne: it was 1972
The 1970s have a lot to answer for! Let me just say that I think your current beard is far more becoming.
@raven: You look like an Allman Brother!
I was thinking ZZTop in training!
@satby: While channel surfing I hit upon MSNBC and in 2 seconds got a “this is bad for Democrats” vibe. My surfing thumb did not tarry.
@Steve in the ATL:
I haven’t hunted since I was a kid, but I like venison if it’s cooked right, pheasant too. I wasn’t one of the guys throwing up on the sidewalk, I took a taste of bear and spit it in my napkin. It was the worst. Some guys at the dinner got smashed and to be “manly” cleaned their plates. Crowd was at minimum 50% assholes. My buddy and I walked over to the Capital Grill to finish our evening with some very good scotch. BTW, One of my uncles used to make his own sausage, 1/3 pork/1/3 beef 1/3 venison it was outstanding. Consistency of a good summer sausage.
@Steve in the ATL:
I am old. Was born during the Roosevelt administration.
Knew HST was in the 30s but had to count backwards on my fingers to determine his number.
ETA: Ummm, was born during the presidency of FDR, not Teddy!
@Steve in the ATL:
Can’t you put screening over the vent or whatever it is they’re getting in through?
Granted it’s hard to tell the difference.
Steve in the ATL
@debbie: the little bastards can chew through anything.
@Jager: Which HC? I’m a member in DC and I get spam mail from the one in Maryland, but I’ve never seen that.
bear meat tastes like pork
Both omnivores inclined to fatness. I’m told that bear fat is very wonderful in cooking, as good as but different than duck or goose fat. I’ve resigned myself to never knowing.
Just One More Canuck
@SiubhanDuinne: “Some folk’ll never eat a skunk, but then again some folk’ll, like Cletus the slack-jawed yokel”
When I was a baby (maybe 13 months old?) my parents and I moved to Grand Marais, MI, for a year. My dad had been hired to compose an opera or oratorio based on the Hiawatha legend, and ended up teaching several classes at the local high school because nobody else there was qualified to teach music, history, or English. Despite the fact that he had been a high school dropout, he turned out to be better educated than any of the locals.
Anyhow, he was also a fairly skilled bowman, and killed a deer with bow and arrow during that first autumn. Family lore has it that my first solid food was venison!
(I never had it again until my first visit to the Hebrides, where we had venison steaks for dinner, venison stew for lunch, and venison sandwiches to take on hikes.)
@Betty Cracker: I must have did somebody wrong
Just searched “feral pig overpopulation” and woah. 2 million of these bad boys! that’s a lot of free bacon on the hoof out there.
They do tremendous damage to the flora and pollute streams and water transport ditches here on Maui something fierce.
@Jager: So, typical evening at the Harvard Club?
We were all young once but you pull it off nicely.
@Jager: It’s not something I’m going to be looking for. A friend of mine was living alone very near Forks WA at the edge of the Olympic Nat Forest. One night she hears a noise at her back door, opens the window above the door, looks out and there’s a big bear trying to get into the house. She grabs her pistol, intending to fire it in the air to scare the bear away but the upper window falls on her arm and she shoots the bear in the head, killing it. Now it’s 2 am and she has a dead 300 lb bear on her doorstep. Also, there are strict rules about when you can kill bears up here. So she calls the nearest park ranger, he helps her dress it and skin it, cut it up, etc. and they have a big barbque party the next weekend. At least, that’s her story and she’s sticking to it. She says the bear lard made terrific pie crust.
edited for clarity and grammar
J R in WV
No, the peccary is a rodent completely unrelated to pigs. They look alike, I’ve seen little herds of peccaries in AZ, and they do look like pigs, but no relation whatsoever.
Wild pigs were first introduced by Spanish explorers marching with little herds of hogs for food. Some got away. More have escaped from farms since. They can get up to 700-800 pounds in the wild, eventually. My brother hunts them with a huge pistol in the Texas hill country.
[looks down, scuffles toe]
@trollhattan: um…no! The Golden Gate Bridge is a “wildlfe corridor”, as has been documented numerous times on the Bridge surveillance cameras. Also too, the southern edge of SF is contiguous with the brushy, forested areas between SF and SC. How else do coyotes and mountain lions make it into the City? Of course they could just be riding the tech buses.
Back in the days when Justine Kerfoot ran the big outfitter out by the waterside, and we used to eat at the El Ray Cafe before and after trips. I have pictures of the amateur Gunflint Trail mural on the wall at the El Ray.
I must have did somebody wrong
An old story
(Three Different Ones)
ha ha charade you are
J R in WV
Well, it is a beard, but not that much of a one, really. I did better than that just out of high school.
@J R in WV:
Sadly, no. The peccary is an ungulate of the same order as pigs, Artiodactyla, not a member of the order Rodentia.