At the University of Saskatchewan, Ryan Brook is on a mission. He’s tracking the number of wild boars.

The feral pigs have become such a problem in Saskatchewan; Brook says if they are not controlled the wild animals could become a prairie-wide nuisance within a few years.

So he’s compiling data which he plans to give to the Saskatchewan government next year with the hope the Wall government will step up its eradication program.

The animals, which Brook compares to rats, eat anything causing about a billion dollars in crop damage in the United States each year.

They also reproduce — abundantly. A female can have two litters a year with six or more piglets per litter. The wild pigs also carry disease and they’re dangerous, weighing between 50 and 100 kilograms as well as sporting razor-sharp tusks.

Here in Alberta, there’s an eradication program for the wild pigs.  Thirteen counties participate in the program, paying $50 for each pair of pig ears that are turned in.