Marauding pigs introduced by Spanish explorers are ravaging land across the United States, and local governments are virtually powerless to defeat them. But Louisiana has a secret weapon: the Dehogaflier. Designed by Cy Brown and James Palmer, this homemade drone is equipped with a thermal camera that allows the engineers to find pigs in dense vegetation when they head out on their nightly raids. Once located, Palmer shoots the pigs with a rifle furnished with a night vision scope. The part time plane hobbyists have exterminated scores of boars, sows, and babies in this way, and farmers are lining up for their services.
Such drastic measures are said to be necessary because these feral pigs, which have now grown to a population of five million according to Denver Post, are so smart that they will monitor a trap set by authorities for days. “They’re much brighter than I am,” Ray Powell, a veterinarian and New Mexico’s land commissioner told AP. “If they had the dexterity, they’d be driving vehicles around. I mean these guys are really smart.”
Texas, New Mexico and other states have been battling feral pigs for years. Hunting helps to ease pressure, but not enough to curtail the exploding population, plus they carry three dozen diseases and spread noxious weeds. Shooting the animals from the sky would be an option, but helicopters are prohibitively expensive, so for now Louisiana farmers are looking to Louisiana Hog Control to keep their crops safe. Recently featured in a TIME photo shoot, Brown and Palmer’s popularity has shot up, writes Modern Farmer, and they now have an additional 20 customers waiting in line.
Via Modern Farmer
Images via Louisiana Hog Control Facebook page