Pigs Gone Wild in Wisconsin

Authorities charge man with bringing problem to Wisconsin

Things in Crawford County, Wis., are wilder than some might imagine.

It seems investigators are pointing fingers at a Texas man who they claim trapped and relocated 31 wild pigs in 2002.  The population has grown, and USA Today reported that the pigs are "rooting up trees, devouring crops before they sprout and keeping residents indoors."

Court papers indicate that Robert Johnson, a former Gays Mills elk farmer brought the pigs back from Texas and released them near the Kickapoo River in an effort to establish a pig population for hunters.  One of Johnson's acquaintances gave a statement to game wardens -- which he recanted days later -- saying that Johnson was mad at the Department of Natural Resources when he set the wild pigs free.

Investigators want Johnson to pay $1,000 for each pig and an unspecified amount for environmental damage caused by the pigs.

Johnson was charged in February with illegally stocking wild animals, a civil infraction. A trial to determine whether he's liable began Sept. 5 in Prairie Du Chien and then delayed.

The Associated Press reported that Johnson will testify when proceedings resume Friday that he had nothing to do with the pigs.

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