SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries shared an update on the growing feral hog problem in Louisiana Tuesday at the Shreveport Rotary Club.

According to LDWF biologist Nathan Yeldell, there are more than 700,000 thousand wild hogs in the state. The destructive animals caused around $76 million in agricultural damage this year alone.

Yeldell says it is a widespread problem, with the wild hogs being present in 64 parishes. The animals can also pose a threat to human health because they carry diseases.

“Unfortunately, our populations of feral hogs in the state have steadily grown similar to many other states throughout the southeast U.S. And the problem is, they cause a lot of damage to to the land and a lot of headache and monetary loss to landowners and agricultural producers.”

According to Yeldell, the best method right now is to educate people on how to manage the animal on their property, as well as to educate them on the most effective methods to drive them away.