SOUTH CAROLINA (FOX Carolina) - Experts are describing an uptick in wild hogs as a "pig bomb" invading the US. all eyes are on the issue after a Texas woman was fatally attacked. It's rare, but not unheard of.
"That's the first human fatality we've seen resulting from a pig since 1996 and it appears to unprovoked," said Dr. Jack Mayer, a researcher at Savannah River National Laboratory. "It is still being investigated. It was a pretty horrific attack."
It's leading to curiosity from the public about what these animals are capable of.
Mayer has been studying pigs for decades. He said this overpopulation in the United States was not expected.
"Those that were studying pigs in the 70s thought things were pretty stable if not decreasing and just the opposite happened," he said. "Nobody expected it and nobody was ready for it and nobody had any answers."
Mayer said that means we're just now playing catch up, which doesn't seem to be working according to the Department of Natural Resources.
"They are extremely prolific animals and pretty much impossible to eradicate," said Greg Lucas "When I say eradicate, that's never going to happen."
It's an uphill battle, they just seem to keep popping up and are reproducing like crazy. There are now thought to be between six and seven million wild pigs nationwide which is leading to a long list of problems.
"They out-compete native species and they will eat virtually anything," Lucas said.
It's leading to a big concern and Mayer says he's worried about the possibility of an African Swine Fever outbreak, that could wipe out multiple animal species.
"It's looking like there's every possibility it's going to land over here and if that happens there's no cure for it," Mayer said.