ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Feral pigs have learned to outsmart hunters as they root up crops, harass wildlife and turn water holes into pigsties.
The invasive porkers have made themselves at home across more than three quarters of the U.S. and officials say they are responsible for an estimated $1.5 billion in damages each year.
Most worrisome is their ability to learn from each encounter with a frustrated human.
Feral pigs are expanding their numbers in many states, but officials think they have a chance to tip the balance in New Mexico.
They're willing to bet $1 million in federal funds on a yearlong pilot project aimed at eradicating the pigs.
It marks the first time the U.S. Department of Agriculture has teamed up with a state to develop a comprehensive plan for getting rid of the pigs.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)