BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Welcome -

Last year I spent a week­end in the For­est of Dean. The big draw was the prospect of see­ing the wild boar that have in­ter­mit­tently been hit­ting the wildlife head­lines. As a na­ture watcher, I hoped for even a fleet­ing glimpse of one. As a jour­nal­ist, I wanted to understand why they at­tract con­dem­na­tion from some quar­ters. Our sight­ing was cour­tesy of an ex­cited couple who’d just seen some boar down a fork off the main foot­path. A fam­ily group were rootling un­der a sweet chest­nut tree. We watched from a few hun­dred me­tres, but even at that dis­tance they looked in­tim­i­dat­ing. The sow was huge and solid – more than ca­pa­ble of knock­ing some­one off their feet, or caus­ing a se­ri­ous traf­fic accident. The rate they churned up the ground high­lighted an­other rea­son for their un­pop­u­lar­ity. Af­ter they trot­ted fur­ther into the woods they left the for­est floor look­ing like it had been ro­ta­vated.

Whether boar should be con­trolled, or erad­i­cated, is dis­cussed on pp86 but, what­ever the rights and wrongs, I will say that my en­counter with them was thrilling.

Sheena Har­vey Ed­i­tor sheena.har­[email protected]­me­di­ate.co.uk

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