What exactly is going on with those “30-50 feral hogs” tweets?

“Legit question for rural Americans – How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?”
“Legit question for rural Americans – How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?”

Gun control is in the news again. While our neighbours to the south dealt with one of the bloodiest weekends in recent memory, so did the city of Toronto, as 17 people were shot in only a three-day span.

While the debate over gun control rages on, American singer-songwriter Jason Isbell took to Twitter to let his stance be known, stating that “If you’re on here arguing the definition of “assault weapon” today you are part of the problem. You know what an assault weapon is, and you know you don’t need one.”

This led to a firestorm of replies, as tweets are wont to do. Americans who use their guns as tools remain concerned that the government may have the intention to take away their second amendment rights. One man, William McNabb, had a question that has since been meme’d out of existence.

“Legit question for rural Americans – How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?”

The sentence has since become a Twitter phenomenon, with many mocking the statement for how absolutely ridiculous the imagery of 30 to 50 feral hogs swarming someone’s yard.

But what people are perhaps failing to realize is that for many southern states, feral hogs are a massive issue that has gotten worse over the past few decades.

That didn’t stop the internet from memeing. Tweets flooded in, quickly giving the statement a life of its own.

Hog expert and editor for Missouri Life Magazine told The Guardian that the feral hogs are actually a massive pest that cause huge problems for farmers. “They are actually a huge problem, both on private property and public lands. They live in groups (called sounders) of up to 60 hogs. They are very harmful for farmers because when they eat, they upturn the ground to get things out.”

A map displaying the spread of feral hogs between 1982 and 2015

The US Department of Agriculture says feral hogs cause $1.5b in damage nationwide every year. The state of Missouri has also declared feral hogs to be an “invasive pest” that needs to be “eliminated from Missouri.”