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Pigs have been hunted, killed, and eaten by several predators, the list is quite long with humans grabbing the top spot. The world of pigs goes beyond the domesticated varieties living on farms. Plenty of pig species exist all over the world, some live in the wild whereas others on farms.
Pigs living in the wild are more susceptible to being attacked by predators. It is also the reason several pig species are now considered “endangered” due to slipping numbers.
Wild can be cruel and unforgiving, poor pigs unable to defend themselves become the meal for the deadly predators.
The common domesticated pigs are generally not preyed on as safety measures are put in place to protect them like electric fences, guard animals, etc.
Wild pigs and boars often served as lunch to larger carnivores or water predators in the area.
What Eat Pigs?
- Human Beings
- Large Birds
- Wild Cat
Pigs are fearful of wolves, bears, and big cats whereas young pigs are often eaten by big birds and smaller animals like raccoons. Wild Pigs can also be eaten by water predators like crocodiles and alligators.
Here are some pig predators that they have to fear
As mentioned earlier, domesticated meat pigs do not have predators unless humans raising and killing them for food is factored in.
Pigs are bred and raised by humans for food consumption nowadays. With the ever-growing pork market, more and more people are going for pig farming.
Ever since their domestication, pigs have been serving humans in one way or the other.
Man is unquestionably the primary and most significant predator of pigs, raised for their meat, hair, and leather.
With their sense of smell and innate foraging capabilities, humans use pigs to hunt for truffles.
They sell pig’s bristles or hair which are used in paintbrushes and other types of brushes. Most prominently, they are raised and killed for their meat consumption.
In some countries, pig meat consumption is more in demand than the others, for instance, in Eastern Europe, people like to have pork for Christmas meals and other festivities, in Western Europe, people eat less fatty food in general.
With the rising pig meat consumption, it seems like humans will remain the primary predator of pigs for the foreseeable future.
Pig farming being quite profitable is pursued by many people for the profit margin.
Both wild and domesticated dogs can pose a threat to the pigs. Most farmers worry about the wild dogs attacking the pigs, whereas, it could be the guard dog itself.
Besides humans, the next big pig predators are the wild and domestic dogs.
It is safe to say dogs and pigs are mortal enemies and dogs have an appetite and natural instinct for attacking and preying on pigs.
This natural instinct is inherited from the ancestors who used to have pigs for food back in the day.
Stray dogs can be a real threat as they are always hungry and looking for food, and pigs are easy to find and hunt.
Stray dogs do not get much to eat which makes them susceptible to attack any animal of their size.
As you may already know, dogs have a great sense of smell, so, they pick up on the pig’s noise and smell quickly. Domesticated pigs do not know any defense strategies, therefore, easier to prey on.
Coyotes are smart animals who prey on many livestock members, they are quick and good hunters.
In North America, pigs often fall victim to dangerous coyotes. They usually go for smaller farm animals like chickens which can be easily killed owing to their size.
Pigs are relatively bigger and can not be easily tackled by the coyotes, so, they hunt for the smaller and young pigs.
Coyotes will not hesitate to give it a try if the pig is asleep, ill, or injured.
The amount of meat they will get from a pig is tempting and, therefore, they are willing to try.
The main deterrent that stops coyotes from attacking pigs is that pigs are social animals who live and move in groups.
In a group, pigs gang up and chase the intruding coyotes away from any member of the herd.
Upon getting a chance, coyotes attack piglets that can be easily overpowered.
Young pigs do not put up much fight and can be easily hunted. Being smart, they only attack piglets, when they are not guarded by the group.
Foxes are quite similar to Coyotes in their hunting capabilities. Like Coyotes, foxes usually attack piglets due to their small size and ease of capturing.
Large pigs can be a hassle to tackle unless they are sick, old, or severely injured.
Foxes also prey on many livestock members and farm animals, usually the younger ones that are relatively smaller like chickens.
Foxes get a good amount of food from preying on chickens.
Foxes in groups can surround a large pig and successfully take it down.
Foxes avoid getting themselves in dangerous situations, therefore, avoid preying on pigs roaming in groups.
Wolves And Bears
Wild pigs or boars are live in a cruel habitat and most likely to be attacked by large carnivores. Pigs can encounter these animals in their usual habitat.
Large carnivores like wolves and bears have no remorse for hunting pigs irrespective of their size and strength.
Being inhabitants of the wild, these animals have smart hunting strategies to kill and feast on pigs. Bears are the deadliest predators considering their size and danger.
If bears are located close to the habitat, pigs are attacked more often. Bears go long distances to hunt for pork.
They are smart animals with a good memory, once they know where to find pork, they will not forget the location and come again and again for the pigs.
Wolves are known for targeting livestock members, the whole pack usually goes for the hunt if the animal is bigger in size and not easy to handle.
If a single wolf is going on a hunting spree, it will settle for piglets or sick pigs to avoid unnecessary trouble.
Water predators include crocodiles and alligators, piglets of Wild boars are attacked and preyed upon by alligators and crocodiles.
Wild Boars are fast and evolved to have defense mechanisms but they can not always escape the water predators.
After managing to evade land-based predators, old boars and piglets fall victim to the vicious crocodiles and alligators.
Large birds like Eagles are always on the lookout for small animals like piglets. They attack and carry away young pigs as they are a great source of nutrients and easy to overpower.
Raccoons are a headache to most pig farmers as they sneak into pig pens and prey on newly born piglets.
Wild cats hunt for pigs of all ages and sizes, cougars, mountain lions, and lynx feast on pork by attacking pig pens and preying on innocent animals.
Many predators want to feast on pigs and like it to be served on the dinner table. The deadliest enemy of them all is Human beings. They raise pigs to kill them in the end. In the wild, there are different predators bigger in size and power.
The most fragile target for all predators is the piglets. Domestic pigs and piglets are safe from predators as pig farmers follow different safety protocols to keep them safe from all sorts of predators.