Invasive wild boars are being spotted around a Toronto suburb

A growing number of Eurasian wild boars running loose around the Toronto suburb of Pickering is prompting officials to launch a search and capture mission.

There have been 14 wild pigs spotted in Pickering, specifically North Pickering, since the first sighting reported to Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources on Nov. 5.

“Eurasian Wild Boars are not native to Ontario, and pose numerous risks once introduced to our landscape, including negatively impacting the natural environment, destroying agriculture, and spreading disease to native wildlife and livestock,” the Town of Pickering posted on Facebook this week.

The species was brought to Canada in the 1980s to diversify farming, but some animals escaped — or were released — and their descendants are now today’s wild population.

“The Eurasian Wild Boar also has an extremely high reproduction rate, which is why capturing and removing them as soon as possible is important to ensure our natural area and habitat are kept safe,” the city explains.

Dave Haughton at first thought the province’s warnings about wild pigs were all hullabaloo.

Then, he posted on Facebook about the six he encountered last week.

Wild pigs on the loose in Pickering. Photo: Dave Haughton/Facebook

“Well was quite a day for mr on Saturday was visited by the Ministry telling me was wild pigs in the area Well I thought it was just another make work project for a few men,” he wrote. “Today I saw 6 on the 26 sideline of Pickering just north of hwy 7.”

Hogs gone wild. Photo: Dave Haughton/Facebook

“Damn, for once the government was right who would have thought,” he wrote.

If you encounter one of these animals, officials advise to stay away from it, and report the sighting to wildpigs@ontario.ca or call 1.833.933.2355.

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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