A population of wild pigs that have been reproducing at an explosive rate in Canada could soon spill over the border to northern US states, bringing horrific diseases with them, ruining crops and even posing a violent danger to humans.

States including Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana are taking steps to prevent an invasion as feral swine currently roaming Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba pose a new threat. The pigs are crossbreeds that have the survival skills of wild Eurasian boars and the size and high fertility of domestic swine, which combine to create a "super pig" population that's spiralling out of control.

Ryan Brook, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan and an expert on Canada's wild pig problem has called the beasts "the most invasive animal on the planet" and warns they could be "an ecological train wreck." Pigs aren't native to North America but Canada's issue with the wild animals can be traced 1980s when farmers were encouraged to raise wild boar, Professor Brook explained.

READ MORE: Mysterious ‘Babushka Lady’ who filmed JFK’s assassination could hold key answers

For the latest US news, click here.

But when the market collapsed after its peak in 2001 many farmers simply cut their fences and set the pigs free. As it turns out the pigs were actually pretty good at surviving in the wild, with the hardy beasts even proving tough enough to make it through harsh Canadian winters.

Two feral hogs are caught in a trap on a farm in rural Washington County, Mo., Jan. 27, 2019
Canadian farmers released the pigs in the early 2000s and their population has rocketed since

But the pigs pose some big problems. Firstly, they eat anything — including crops and wildlife — and will often tear up land when looking for bugs or crops to feast on. Feral swine populations already cause an estimated $2.5billion in damage to US crops annually, mostly in the southern states where they are already present, like Texas.

The animals could also spread dangerous diseases to pig farms, like African swine fever — which generally results in high mortality. They are even known to be aggressive towards humans.

Back in 2019, an 84-year-old woman in Texas was killed by a group of feral hogs who attacked her outside of her home. Worryingly, the randy pigs' rapid reproduction rates mean they're difficult to eradicate.

John Schmidt, a wildlife trapper, walks past damage from feral hogs that happened overnight while foraging near one of his traps in New Orleans, Tuesday, June 17, 2014.
The feral hogs have proven incredibly difficult to eradicate

A sow can give birth to six piglets in one litter and raise two litters per year. Professor Brook noted this means that even if 65% or more of the wild pig population was killed every year they would still be increasing in numbers.

And it sounds like even that may be difficult to achieve as the success rate for hunters is only around 2% to 3%. Some states have even banned hunting them over fears it will only make the clever pigs more wary and nocturnal — meaning they'd be even tougher to track down.

It's already too late to eradicate the wild pigs in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, according to Professor Brook. But he claims there's more hope for US states if they respond quickly by implementing detection systems that find the super pigs early and fast.

Join the Daily Star's WhatsApp for the sexiest headlines, showbiz gossip and lots more

A man laughing at his phone, a sassy womanm the whatsapp logo and an alien in a suit.

The Daily Star is now on WhatsApp and we want you to join us!

Through the app, we'll send you the sassiest showbiz stories, some naught headline and a seismic smattering of aliens...along with the latest breaking news of course.

To join our community, all you have to do to join is click on this link, select 'Join Chat' and you're in!

No one will be able to see who has sign up and no one can send messages except for the Daily Star team. We also treat our community members to competitions, special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners.

If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like. To leave our community click on the name at the top of your screen and choose Exit group. If you’re curious, you can read our Privacy Notice.