Wild hogs unwelcome guests at Miss. Civil War site

Jan 11, 2012, 11:28 PM

Associated Press

(AP) – A pack of unwelcome swine are going wild at the site of one of the pivotal battles of the Civil War, after seeking higher ground from the flooded Mississippi River last year.

Park officials say a pack of wild hogs are rooting up the landscape at Vicksburg National Military Park, an 1,800-acre site where thousands of Union and Confederate troops fought and died in 1863.

They fear the hogs could undermine some of the park’s 1,370 monuments, its national cemetery and trenches and earthworks on the bluffs above the river. The hogs could also startle or injure more than 1 million annual visitors.

“It looks like the world’s biggest Rototiller has gone through some areas,” park Superintendent Mike Madell said. “People think we plowed some of the areas they’ve been in.”

The Mississippi River crested at record 57.1-feet in Vicksburg on May 19, forcing many animals, including hogs, deer and alligators, into new areas.

The hogs are mostly in the northern third of the park, and the dense brush between Graveyard Road and North Union Avenue. Damage to the earth is particularly noticeable around the Indiana Regiment marker.

Madell said rangers have removed 11 hogs since they first appeared in May 2011. He believes about another dozen are still on the loose.

“I came here two years ago and we had a small population,” he said. “I’m pretty sure we got all of them, but the flood drove these in and they are finding plenty of food and good habitat, evidently.”

“They could do some real damage to a very historic part of the park,” Madell said.

The solution doesn’t end well for the hogs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has come in to help the park deal with the problem. Basically, that means killing them and burying them in a discreet area, Madell said.

“The state of Mississippi does not allow transporting them live,” he said. “We did look into possibly donating the meat, but health laws prevent that.”

Hogs may be shot anytime of the year in Mississippi, Walker said.

“It’s an all-out war on them,” he said. “But hunting will never get rid of them. They can breed three times a year and a sow can have eight to 10 pigs each time. You do the math.”

Wild hogs are a big problem across the Southeast and in many areas of Mississippi, especially around Vicksburg, said Jim Walker, spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks.

“They are terrible, rooting up crops, digging holes, just tearing things up in general,” Walker said. “In Mississippi, if you don’t have wild hogs count your blessings.”

The pigs, which may have formidable tusks and weigh more than 200 pounds, are usually not dangerous, Walker said, unless they are cornered, or you get between a sow and her piglets. But they can be startling when a park visitor stumbles across them.

“We’ve had visitors occasionally see them, but (the hogs) have not tried to approach them,” Madell said.

The siege of Vicksburg ended on July 4, 1863, with Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s forces defeating Confederate Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton’s forces. The series of battles effectively severed the Confederacy’s western states and established Union control of the Mississippi River. President Abraham Lincoln called Vicksburg a key to victory over the Confederacy.



Vicksburg National Military Park:

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FILE - Andrew Giuliani, left, a Republican candidate for Governor of New York, is joined by his fat...
Associated Press

Heckler charged with assault after confronting Rudy Giuliani

NEW YORK (AP) — A heckler who clapped former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on the back at a campaign event was arrested, jailed for more than 24 hours and now faces an assault charge. The episode Sunday at a Staten Island supermarket produced dueling accounts, with Giuliani likening the touch to being hit […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Helicopter pilot helping Alaska firefighters dies in crash

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A helicopter contracted to support firefighting efforts on an Interior Alaska blaze crashed after takeoff, killing the pilot, officials said Monday. The fatality was the first related to Alaska wildfires in 22 years. The pilot was identified as Douglas Ritchie, 56, of Wasilla, Alaska State Troopers said. He was the lone […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Amtrak train collides with dump truck, derails in Missouri

MENDON, Mo. (AP) — A passenger train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed in Missouri on Monday afternoon and initial reports indicate that some people aboard were injured, Amtrak said. The Southwest Chief was carrying about 243 passengers when it collided with a dump truck near Mendon at 1:42 p.m., Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods […]
14 hours ago
This image released by Showtime shows journalist Alex Wagner from "The Circus: Inside the Wildest P...
Associated Press

MSNBC appoints Alex Wagner as 4-night prime-time anchor

NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC on Monday solidified its prime-time lineup by appointing Alex Wagner to fill Rachel Maddow’s time slot four nights a week, Tuesday through Friday. Wagner, who has worked at CBS News, as a co-host of Showtime’s “The Circus” and as an editor at The Atlantic, is on her second stint at […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Feds seize websites after probe of pirated Latin music

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Federal authorities have seized six websites that prosecutors say were illegally distributing copyrighted music to millions of users. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced the seizures Monday of the websites that primarily targeted Latin music. According to an affidavit, agents began investigating the websites in April […]
14 hours ago
FILE - The North Lawn of the White House is seen from a newly reopened section of Pennsylvania Aven...
Associated Press

White House to resume its full tour schedule next month

WASHINGTON (AP) — Public tours of the White House will return to a full operating schedule next month, after nearly a year and a half of disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Free tours of the executive mansion were suspended when President Joe Biden took office, as officials tightened virus protocols in line with guidance […]
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Wild hogs unwelcome guests at Miss. Civil War site