Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pigs Gone Wild

Have you ever seen a wild pig?

Think you never will? Think again; they may soon be coming to a location near you...

On Friday, when we arrived at JV's and Dutch's house for our south Florida Fourth-of-July visit, Dutch took us on a little tour. While showing us around, she took us to us an area behind the house where pigs had been rooting.

Pigs had been rooting? Eh?

I was intrigued. We had already spotted a zebra grazing in a field nearby, so this trip was turning out to be more fun than Busch Gardens. And, here, we had the added suspense of not knowing: Would we see the zebra? Would we see the pigs? Would we see the woodpecker? These were serious questions.

I asked my in-laws, "Have YOU seen the pigs?" "No," they replied; apparently the critters came out at odd hours of the night. One neighbor reported seeing them at 4:30 in the morning. Well, I didn't want to get up that early, but I hoped the animals would be a little more accommodating so that we could get a glimpse.

That night, as DH was about to fall asleep, I turned off the light in the den. As I was walking toward the bedroom, I heard a noise outside.

It sounded like a pig!

I raced toward the sound, turned on the patio light and flung open the door, and there, just a few yards away, was a small herd of pigs, maybe 5 or 6 of them, rooting away in the dirt! My presence didn't affect them at all; they were just enjoying the buffet!

I ran in and shook DH, and he came to door and watched as I took photos. The trespassers didn't mind having their picture taken, and even though I was shooting at night with my Canon G11 digital, I was able to get some fairly decent shots.

I thought this might be a recent phenomenon, but it turns out that feral pigs were introduced to Florida by Hernando De Soto in 1539, and they've been spotted in all but 6 of these United States. (By the way, you should not approach them or the areas where they've been, because they can carry diseases.)

So, tonight, if you hear something like a squealing noise outside, check it out; you may have new neighbors!

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