Wild Boar on the Appalachian Trail

wild boarBoars were originally brought over to the US from Europe and confined to hunting preserves. Many escaped and interbred with the domestic pig, though full-blooded boars still inhabit the mountains of the AT, mainly living in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina in the Nantahala and Cherokee National Forests.

Recently more and more boars are inhabiting the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which is causing some ecological problems. Their rooting tears up the forest floor and makes the bald patches susceptible to seeding, and they also compete with deer and bear for food.

Their diet mainly consists of acorns, pecan, hickory and beech nuts. They will also eat grass, roots, tubers and berries in addition to crayfish, snakes, salamanders, frogs, eggs, young rabbits and carrion.

A wild boar averages 350 pounds, has dark grizzled hair, a long head with a tough cartilaginous snout, short legs and a straight tail. Their upper tusks curl up and out along the side of their mouths and can be up to nine inches long.

About the Author Steve Burge:
Steve Burge was the original founder of AppalachianTrail.com. He was a teacher for many years before starting a web development firm.
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Published Apr 11, 2013.