- Associated Press - Sunday, February 23, 2014

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) - Wild hogs are posing a problem for homeowners in Manatee County.

The Bradenton Herald reports (https://bit.ly/NiNadP) that property owners in certain neighborhoods near the Braden River say the animals are plowing through front lawns, leaving turf completely overturned in a sometimes desperate attempt to find food.

Wildlife removal experts say suburban growth patterns are pushing the hogs into new territory.

Hogs aren’t native to Florida and could have been introduced by explorer Hernando De Soto around 1539. Florida’s estimated 800,000 hogs are found in all 67 counties. Hogs can weigh up to 400 pounds.

After deer, the hog is the second-most-hunted animal in Florida for its meat. Hogs of any size may be hunted on private property at any time. No hunting license is required.

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