Here at Wild Animal News we have been talking often about feral hogs and the damage they cause. What I didn’t realize is exactly how big they can get: The answer is titanic tuskers (Sus scrofa) can reach the size of a grizzly bear (Ursos arctos horribilis).
An average pig weighs around 250 pounds, a large male grizzly reaches about 800. And the titanic tuskers come close to that mark, according to fishgame.com.
How do pigs and bears get so big?
Part of the answer is diet. Pigs and grizzlies ae both omnivorous. Grizzlies, of course, eat berries, fish and other items. About 75 of the diet is vegetable. Pigs are omnivorous and predatory. About 90 percent of their diet is vegetable. But they have a tendency to eat crops and gardens. They root and cause much damage rooting.
Texas is only one of the 35 states afflicted with rampaging feral pigs. That state may have the biggest number of wild pork on the hoof. But a new threat has emerged. “Super Pigs” may be making their way south from Canada after a misguided breeding experiment.
Field and Stream says top pigs bagged by hunters weighed between 400 and 700 plus pounds. A couple of the biggest were shot in Texas. One in California. The legendary “Hogzilla” was taken in Georgia. That titanic tusker was estimated to weigh a full 1,000 pounds. A later post mortem by National Geographic downsized that estimate. Taking into account post-mortem shrinkage and other factors that organization estimated the beast weighed 800 pounds.
As for grizzlies there is some dispute about size. Grizzlies are a subspecies of brown bear (Ursos arctos). A-Z Animals notes that Alaskan brown bears can reach 1,200 pounds. Grizzlies do top out around 700 pounds, but one may have reached 900.
No matter the exact weight, titanic tuskers can be nearly as big as a grizzly bear. The pigs are doing enormous damage in the United States and even Italy.