More sightings and videos of a herd of about 14 wild boar pigs near Pickering have prompted the provincial government to get involved.
The Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Natural Resources and Forestry said it is trying to trap and remove them.
They are on and near land that the government expropriated decades ago for an airport that has yet to be built.
“A sounder of wild pigs typically consists of one or several related females and their offspring,” said Erin Koen, a research scientist in the ministry’s Wildlife Research and Monitoring section.
“There appear to be young pigs in the group in the Pickering area, but we can’t yet confirm their ages or relationships. We don’t have any reason to believe at this time that any of these animals were born in the wild.”
As part of a strategy aimed at avoiding the environmental damage and crop losses suffered in other jurisdictions, the department has developed a collaborative effort to track wild pigs in Ontario and prevent the establishment of feral breeding populations.
It has also declared them a banned species and informed those farming them that they have deadlines to get rid of them.
Mary Delaney said her husband screamed and ran into the house after he encountered wild boars rooting in an area where they had planted about 200 garlic bulbs.
Delaney was already on the lookout because provincial staff went door-to-door in the area Nov. 6 to alert area residents. Her sighting happened Nov. 8. After alerting officials, she drove north into the Pickering Lands to speak with two farmers she knew were harvesting inside the Transport Canada-owned land.
“I talked to the farmers, I turned around and drove back down the same side road I had just come up. And there (the wild pigs) were,” she said. “I ended up getting lots of pictures and some videos because they didn’t seem at all concerned about me.”