Feral hogs destroy crops, wildlife habitat

photo Feral hogs root around outside of Florence, Ala. Studies show that feral hogs cause more than$1.5 billion in damage each year in the United States.

FLORENCE, Ala. - It has all the makings of a horror movie - a 300-pound beast with oversized teeth running amok in forests and fields, eating everything it can.

Instead, it is a real-life scenario that is becoming more common in the Tennessee Valley and across the nation as the feral hog population expands.

Feral hogs, descendants of farm animals that escaped or purposely were set free, are wreaking havoc on farm crops and pastures and destroying wildlife habitat. Wildlife officials estimate the nation's feral hog population at more than 4 million, and estimates are they cause more than $1.5