Rise of the boar
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.