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Wild boar in DL area has DNR worried

DNR officials are concerned about a wild boar spotted recently in the Detroit Lakes area.

"Several witnesses saw it, and their descriptions were the same," Joe Stattelman, Department of Natural Resources conservation officer, told the Star Tribune newspaper. "It's smaller than a Labrador retriever, has dark long hair, a slanted snout and visible white tusks. It sounds like a wild pig to us.'"

Specifically, a European wild boar, said Earl Johnson, DNR wildlife manager in Detroit Lakes.

That's a big concern because boars and feral pigs can multiply rapidly, spread diseases to other animals -- both wild and domestic -- and tend to leave a negative mark on the landscape.

Wisconsin has feral pigs, and asks hunters to shoot them on sight.

Until now, they had not been spotted in Minnesota, and officials would dearly love to keep it that way.

According to the Star Tribune, feral pigs are found in 39 states and are considered a major problem in many of them.

Once established, they are very difficult to eradicate.

The boar may have been brought into the state illegally, and escaped.

Residents first spotted the pig last Thursday, Stattelman told the Star Tribune. Four or five people have reported seeing it, he said. He has spent several days looking for it, hoping to shoot it, but hasn't had any luck thus far.

Finding it among the woods and wetlands of the area, he said, "is like looking for a needle in a haystack.'"

Said Johnson: "We would ask that if someone kills it, that they please call us." Officials want to send it to the University of Minnesota's veterinary diagnostic lab in St. Paul to be tested for various diseases, including pseudo-rabies, brucellosis and tuberculosis.

"We'd like everyone to know it's not welcome here," Johnson said.