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Abandoned pot-bellied pigs roaming southern Delaware

Potbellied hogs are large and elusive, and they roam free, often in wild packs, in southern Delaware.

Abandoned by their owners, these stray pets destroy lawns, gardens and native plants. They disturb other wildlife and risk transmitting endemic diseases, such as salmonella and swine flu, to other animals and people.

And every day, it seems, state agriculture officials say they get another call about these huge animals spotted on residential, rural and public lands in Kent and Kent counties. Sussex.

But when they’re caught, no one wants them, so in recent months state vets must have killed a dozen.

Often marketed as micros, teacups, minis, pouches and pygmies, at two months old these cuddly animals, which can live indoors or outdoors, weigh only around 35 pounds, about the same as an average sized adult dog.

But they can reach 200 pounds and live for over 20 years.

This reality leads many owners — once the lure is gone and especially after the pigs have large litters of babies — to release them to roam nearby yards, fields and parks, officials said. this week.

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