‘Hakuna Matata’: Viral Tiktok Video Claims Warthogs Are the Newest Invasive Species in Texas

‘Hakuna Matata’: Viral Tiktok Video Claims Warthogs Are the Newest Invasive Species in Texas

“Due to human releases, we have exotic bugs, plants, and animals everywhere. Here’s one of the latest.


A possible means of control: put it out in South Louisiana that they are really tasty – but illegal to hunt.


NOTE: this article was originally published to ExpressNews.com on September 8, 2022. It was written by Shepard Price.


While Texas already has a booming feral hog problem, the state now is dealing with the species’ African cousins.


According to a viral TikTok video posted last week by account @jamesbigleyranches, warthogs might be the newest nuisance to Texas. The warthog population was first discovered in 2014 in the Chaparral Wildlife Management Area, a 15,200-acre wildlife area in La Salle and Dimmit counties in South Texas. Chaparral WMA is the first public hunting area where a warthog was harvested by a hunter in North America.


@jamesbigleyranches Warthogs in Texas #Texas #feralpigs #exotics #hunting #hunters #pigs ♬ original sound – Texas Realtor TikTok


In the video, Bigley claims that warthogs have become a growing population that is free range. Chaparral WMA also serves as a “perfect habitat” for the species, Bigley states. One concern about the new invasive species is that just like their longer-residing cousins, warthogs will ruin natural habitats in the state.

Only the javelina is a native species in Texas, though it is not actually a member of the pig family. Feral hogs and warthogs are both human-introduced. Javelinas can be differentiated due to their size, as they are smaller than either non-native hog, and their lack of a noticeable tail and white band of hair around the collar.

Warthogs are a non-game species, or exotic, in Texas, and there is no regulation on hunting the species. Warthogs are labeled as an exotic species because they are native to Africa, and warthogs, which can weigh more than 200 pounds, potentially could negatively affect native wildlife and habitat.

Evidence indicates that the feral population of African warthogs is growing, rang-expanding and self-sustaining, the first such population on the continent, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Private ranches have imported or purchased African warthogs and released them onto their properties over the past decade; such actions are legal in Texas. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has regulatory authority over native wildlife but no such authority over exotic livestock. Texas, therefore, is now home to populations of nilgai, oryx, blackbuck antelope, axis deer, sambar and other non-native hoofed animals.

Warthogs, which can burrow, were able to escape their release sites and get under the tall fence of the Chaparral WMA. Warthogs might be limited to South Texas, which is similar to their native habitat in Africa, due to their inability to deal well with cold weather. Most warthogs still are limited to La Salle, Dimmit and McMullen counties, though one was reported in Duval County in 2015.

With few natural predators in South Texas — among them bobcats, coyotes and a few, rare mountain lions — warthogs could become a problem without hunter intervention.

Hunters are encouraged to kill a warthog if one is encountered, with warthogs potentially tasting better than their feral hog cousins.

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