Rise of the boar

Countryfile Magazine - - Lazy Days -

I have just re­ceived my March is­sue and see a pic­ture of a wild boar piglet with a warn­ing to keep your dis­tance. I have friends who walk in the For­est of Dean and have been chased by wild boar. This is a fright­en­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and they have con­sid­ered car­ry­ing pep­per spray for pro­tec­tion. The boar can ap­pear with­out warn­ing from un­der­growth and be­come ag­gres­sive. Their num­bers have now grown and, as there are no preda­tors, will con­tinue to do so. Let’s hope wolves won’t be in­tro­duced by some bright spark to con­trol the boar.

Les­ley Brewer, New­bury, Berk­shire

Kevin Caster of Glouces­ter­shire Wildlife Trust replies:

Boar are mas­sive beasts but, as with all wildlife, they wish to avoid con­flict as it’s risky and a waste of en­ergy. Of­ten we may mis­read a sit­u­a­tion and per­ceive ag­gres­sion when it is ac­tu­ally self-de­fence. There is of course a chance some­one could be hurt, in the same way cat­tle or even our own Ex­moor ponies could hurt some­one, but it’s a risk we take to en­joy the re­al­ity of a living for­est. Boar num­bers are man­aged and the pop­u­la­tion level will set­tle but we will al­ways be ar­gu­ing about what that level should be.

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