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Wild boar or wild pig ( Sus scrofa) is a species of the genus Sus, part of the . The species includes many . It is the wild ancestor of the , an animal with which it freely hybridises. Wild boar are native across much of Northern and Central Europe, the (including North Africa's ) and much of Asia, including and as far south as . Populations have also been artificially introduced in some parts of the world, most notably and , where they are regarded as both an important food resource and an environmental threat.Clarke, G. M., Gross, S., Matthews, M., Catling, P. C., Baker, B., Hewitt, C. L., Crowther, D., & Saddler, S. R. 2000, Environmental Pest Species in Australia, Australia: State of the Environment, Second Technical Paper Series (Biodiversity), Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra. Elsewhere, such as , populations have also become established after escapes of wild boar from captivity.

The term boar is used to denote an adult male of certain species, including domestic pigs. However, for wild boar, it applies to the whole species, including, for example, "wild boar sow" or "wild boar piglet".

Wild boar are also known by various names, including wild hogs or simply boars. In the US, they are more commonly referred to as or European boars.

Physical characteristics
The body of the wild boar is compact; the head is large, the legs relatively short. The consists of stiff bristles and usually finer fur. The colour usually varies from dark grey to black or brown, but there are great regional differences in colour; even whitish animals are known from central Asia.Heptner, V. G. and Sludskii, A. A. (1989) Mammals of the Soviet Union Vol. II, Part 2 Carnivora (Hyaenas and Cats). Leiden, New York, ISBN 90-04-08876-8 During winter the fur is much more dense.

The wild boar is quite a variably sized mammal. In exceptionally large specimens, the species can rival the size of the , the largest extant species of wild . Adult boars can measure from in length, not counting a tail of , and have a shoulder height of . Sus scrofa. Eurasian wild pig. As a whole, their average weight is 50–90 kg (110–200 pounds), though boars show a great deal of weight variation within their geographical ranges. Generally speaking, native Eurasian boars follow , with smaller boars nearer the tropics and larger, smaller-eared boars in the North of their range. Mature sows from Southeast Asia and southern India may weigh as little as . The ( S. s. ussuricus), the largest subspecies typically weighs between . Hunting Manchurian Sika – Hunting Wild Boar. In central Italy, their weight usually ranges from while boars shot in have been recorded to weigh up to 150 kg (331 lb). An unusually large French specimen shot in Negremont forest in in 1999 weighed 227 kg (550 lb). boars have been recorded to reach weights of 200 kg (441 lb). Romanian and Russian boars can reach weights of 300 kg (661 lb), while unconfirmed giants reported in early Russian hunting journals have reportedly weighed up to .

Adult males develop , continuously growing teeth that protrude from the mouth, from their upper and lower canine teeth. These serve as weapons and tools. The upper tusks are bent upwards in males, and are regularly ground against the lower ones to produce sharp edges. The tusks normally measure about , in exceptional cases even . Females also have sharp canines, but they are smaller, and not protruding like the males' tusks. Tigers hunt boars, but avoid tackling mature male boars. In many cases, boars have gored tigers to death in self-defence. Wild boars can be dangerous to humans, especially when they have piglets.

Wild boar piglets are coloured differently from adults, having marbled chocolate and cream stripes lengthwise over their bodies. The stripes fade by the time the piglet is about 6 months old, when the animal takes on the adult's grizzled grey or brown colour (see in Reproduction section to compare adult and juvenile colouring).

Behaviour and social structure
Adult males are usually solitary outside of the breeding season, but females and their offspring (both sub-adult males and females) live in groups called sounders. Sounders typically number around 20 animals, although groups of over 50 have been seen, and will consist of 2 to 3 sows; one of which will be the dominant female. Group structure changes with the coming and going of farrowing females, the migration of maturing males (usually when they reach around 20 months) and the arrival of unrelated sexually active males.

Wild boar are situationally or , foraging in early morning and late afternoon or at night, but resting for periods during both night and day. They are scavengers, eating almost anything they come across, including grass, , , , nests of ground nesting birds, , , , insects and small . Wild boar in Australia are also known to be of young deer and . boar action plan.pdf Feral wild boar in England: An action plan. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 2008.

If surprised or cornered, a boar (particularly a sow with piglets) can and will defend itself and its young with intense vigour. The male lowers its head, charges, and then slashes upward with its tusks. The female, whose tusks are not visible, charges with head up, mouth wide, and bites.

and production in males is triggered by decreasing day length, reaching a peak in mid-autumn. The normally solitary males then move into female groups, and rival males fight for dominance, whereupon the largest and most dominant males achieve the most . Mating may last over 45 minutes, and is accompanied by . ξ1

The age of puberty for sows ranges from 6 to 24 months of age depending on environmental and nutritional factors; sexual maturity begins when boars reach a weight of around 30 kg. Pregnancy lasts approximately 115 days and a sow will leave the group to construct a mound-like nest out of vegetation and dirt, 1–3 days before giving birth ().

The process of giving birth to a litter lasts between 2 and 3 hours, and the sow and piglets remain in, or close to, the nest for 4–6 days. Sows rejoin the group after 4–5 days, and the piglets will cross suckle between other lactating sows.

Litter size is typically four to six piglets but may be smaller for first litter, usually two to three. The largest litters can be up to fourteen piglets. The sex ratio at birth is 1:1. Litter size of wild boars may vary depending on their location. A study in the National Park in the US reported a mean litter size of 3.3. A similar study on reported a mean litter size of 5. Larger litter sizes have been reported in the Middle East. Piglets weigh at birth. Rooting behaviour develops in piglets as early as the first few days of life, and piglets are fully weaned after three to four months. They will begin to eat solid foods such as worms and grubs after about two weeks.


Reconstructed range
Wild boar were originally found in North Africa and much of ; from the to and the . The northern limit of its range extended from southern to southern and Japan. Within this range it was absent in extremely dry deserts and zones.

A few centuries ago it was found in North Africa along the valley up to and north of the . The reconstructed northern boundary of the range in Asia ran from (at 60°N) through the area of and Moscow into the southern , where it reached 52°N. From there the boundary passed and farther east the at 56°N. In the eastern (near ) the boundary turned steep south, encircled the , and went again eastward including the and . From here the boundary went slightly north of the eastward to its lower reaches at the . On there are only reports of wild boar. The southern boundaries in Europe and Asia were almost everywhere identical to the sea shores of these continents. In dry deserts and high mountain ranges, the wild boar is naturally absent. So it is absent in the dry regions of Mongolia from 44–46°N southward, in China westward of and in India north of the . In high altitudes of and they are also absent; however, at and on the lower slopes of the Tien Shan they do occur.

Present range
In recent centuries, the range of wild boar has changed dramatically, largely due to hunting by humans and more recently because of captive wild boar escaping into the wild. For many years populations dwindled. They probably became extinct in Great Britain in the 13th century. In Denmark the last boar was shot at the beginning of the 19th century, and in 1900 they were absent in Tunisia and Sudan and large areas of Germany, Austria, and Italy. In Russia they were extinct in wide areas in the 1930s.

A revival of boar populations began in the middle of the 20th century. By 1950 wild boar had once again reached their original northern boundary in many parts of their Asiatic range. By 1960 they reached and Moscow, and by 1975 they were to be found in and . In the 1970s they again occurred in Denmark and Sweden, where captive animals escaped and now survive in the wild. (The wild boar population in Sweden was estimated to be around 80,000 in 2006 but grew in excess of 100,000 in a few years). In England, wild boar populations re-established themselves in the 1990s, after escaping from specialist farms that had imported European stock.

Elsewhere, in 1493, brought eight hogs to the West Indies. Importation to the American mainland was in the mid-16th century by and , and in the mid-17th century by . Pure Eurasian boar were also imported there for sport hunting in the early 20th century. Large populations of wild boar also live in Australia, New Zealand and North and South America. In the United States, there are approximately 6 million feral pigs. In the first decade of the 21st century, wild boar escaped from game farms in and (Canada) and reproduced rapidly, resulting in bounties offered for pairs of ears. A few years later, population estimates range in the thousands.Köhler, Nicholas (14 January 2009) "Kill Boars for cash. Alberta puts a bounty on its wild, furry pigs". .

Status in Britain
Between their medieval extinction and the 1980s, when wild boar farming began, only a handful of captive wild boar, imported from the continent, were present in Britain. Occasional escapes of wild boar from wildlife parks have occurred as early as the 1970s, but since the early 1990s significant populations have re-established themselves after escapes from farms; the number of which has increased as the demand for wild boar meat has grown.

A 1998 (now ) study on wild boar living wild in Britain confirmed the presence of two populations of wild boar living in Britain; one in / and another in .

Another DEFRA report, in February 2008, Government supports local communities to manage wild boar. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 19 February 2008 confirmed the existence of these two sites as 'established breeding areas' and identified a third in /; in the / area. A 'new breeding population' was also identified in . There is another significant population in Dumfries and Galloway.

Populations estimates were as follows:

  • The largest population, in Kent/East Sussex, was estimated at approximately 200 animals in the core distribution area.
  • The second largest, in Gloucestershire/Herefordshire, was estimated to be in excess of 100 animals. This may now be the largest population as it is expanding rapidly.
  • The smallest, in west Dorset, was estimated to be fewer than 50 animals.
  • Since winter 2005/6 significant escapes/releases have also resulted in animals colonising areas around the fringes of , in . These are considered as an additional single 'new breeding population' and currently estimated to be up to 100 animals.

Population estimates for the Forest of Dean are disputed as at the time that the DEFRA estimate was 100 a photo of a group of boar in the forest near Staunton with over 33 animals visible was published and at about the same time over 30 boar were seen in a field near the original escape location of Weston under Penyard many miles away. In early 2010 the Forestry Commission embarked on a cull, with the aim of reducing the boar population from an estimated 150 animals to 100. By August it was stated that efforts were being made to reduce the population from 200 to 90, but that only 25 had been killed. The failure to meet cull targets was confirmed in February 2011. Cull failing to control wild boar. The Forester. 25 February 2011.

Wild boar have crossed the into Wales. Iolo Williams the BBC Wales wildlife expert attempted to film Welsh boar in late 2012. Many other sightings, across the UK, have also been reported. The effects of wild boar on the UK's woodlands were discussed with Ralph Harmer of the on the 's radio programme in 2011. The programme prompted activist writer to propose a thorough population study, followed by the introduction of permit-controlled .

Wild boar are known to be competent swimmers, capable of covering long distances. In 2013 one boar was reported to have completed the seven mile swim from to in the , before being shot and incinerated. BBC News - Alderney wild boar that swam from France shot over disease fear

Status in Germany
Recently, Germany has reported a surge in the wild boar population. According to one study, "German wild boar litters have six to eight piglets on average, other countries usually only about four or five." Boar in Germany are also said to be becoming increasingly 'brazen' and intrude further into cities, for example Berlin.

Different subspecies can usually be distinguished by the relative lengths and shapes of their . S. scrofa cristatus and S. scrofa vittatus have shorter lacrimal bones than European subspecies. ξ2 Spanish and French boar specimens have 36 , as opposed to wild boar in the rest of Europe which possess 38, the same number as domestic pigs. Boars with 36 chromosomes have successfully mated with animals possessing 38, resulting in fertile offspring with 37 chromosomes.

Four subspecies groups are generally recognised:

Western races (scrofa group)
  • Sus scrofa scrofa: The most common and most widespread subspecies, its original distribution ranges from France to . It has been in Sweden, Norway, the US and Canada. ξ3
  • Sus scrofa baeticus: A small subspecies present in the southwestern . Probably a of S. s. meridionalis.
  • Sus scrofa castilianus: Larger than S. s. baeticus, it inhabits northern Spain. Probably a junior synonym of S. s. scrofa.
  • Sus scrofa meridionalis: A small, almost maneless subspecies from , Sardinia and . (2008). Current views on the taxonomy and zoogeography of the genus Sus. pp. 15–29 in Albarella, U., Dobney, K, Ervynck, A. & Rowley-Conwy, P. Eds. (2008). Pigs and Humans: 10,000 Years of Interaction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-920704-6 Possibly extinct now in its island range.
  • Sus scrofa majori: A subspecies smaller than S. s. scrofa with a higher and wider skull. It occurs in central and southern Italy. Since the 1950s, it has hybridised extensively with introduced S. s. scrofa populations.
  • : A very large, long-maned, yellowish subspecies from eastern Europe to Kazakhstan, northern and Iran.
  • Sus scrofa algira: in Africa. Closely related to, and sometimes considered a junior synonym of, S. s. scrofa, but smaller and with proportionally longer tusks. Now quite rare.
  • : A small, pale and almost maneless subspecies from Caucasus to the , Turkey and the . Possibly extinct now.
  • : From Egypt and northern Sudan. Former presence in these countries, where became extinct around 1900, is linked to ancient introductions by man, and S. s. sennaarensis is probably a junior synonym of S. s. scrofa. "Wild boars" now present in Sudan are derived from domestic pigs.
  • : A light-coloured subspecies with dark legs from , Central Asia.

Indian races (cristatus group)
  • Sus scrofa cristatus: A long-maned subspecies with a coat that is black unlike S. s. davidi. More lightly built than European boar. Its head is larger and more pointed than that of the European boar, and its ears smaller and more pointed. The plane of the forehead straight, while it is concave in the European. Occurs from the south to central India and east to (north of the ).
  • : This subspecies is smaller than S. s. cristatus and found in southern India and Sri Lanka. questionable.
  • : A small, long-maned and light brown subspecies from eastern Iran to ; perhaps north to Tajikistan.

Eastern races (leucomystax group)
  • Sus scrofa ussuricus: A very large (largest subspecies of the wild boar), almost maneless subspecies with a thick coat that is blackish in the summer and yellowish-grey in the winter. From and .
  • Sus scrofa leucomystax: A small, almost maneless, yellowish-brown subspecies from Japan (except where the wild boar is not naturally present, and the where replaced by S. s. riukiuanus).
  • Sus scrofa riukiuanus: A small subspecies from the .
  • Sus scrofa taivanus: A small blackish subspecies from Taiwan.
  • : A relatively small and short-maned subspecies from most of China and Vietnam. There are significant variations within this subspecies, and it is possible there actually are several subspecies involved. On the contrary, recent evidence suggests the virtually unknown may be identical to (and consequently a of) wild boars from this region.
  • Sus scrofa sibiricus: A relatively small subspecies from Mongolia and .

Sundaic race (vittatus group)
  • Sus scrofa vittatus: A small, short-faced and sparsely furred subspecies with a white band on the muzzle.Francis, C. M. (2008). A Guide to the Mammals of Southeast Asia. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13551-9 From , and in Indonesia from and east to . Might be a separate species, and shows some similarities with some other species of wild pigs in south-east Asia.

Domestic pig
The is usually regarded as a subspecies – Sus scrofa domestica – although this is sometimes classified as a separate species: Sus domestica.

Natural predators
Wild boar are a main food source for tigers in the regions where they coexist. Tigers typically follow boar groups, and pick them off one by one. Tigers have been noted to chase boars for longer distances than with other prey, though they will usually avoid tackling mature male boars. In many cases, boars have gored tigers to death in self-defense. In the , wild boars are one of the two most important prey species for the alongside the , with the two species collectively comprising roughly 80% of the prey selected by these tigers. Studies of indicate that boars are usually secondary in preference to various and . Boars are also probably an important component of the diet of , though their specific significance in the tiger's diet there is not known.

are also major predators of boars in some areas. Wolves mostly feed on piglets, though adults have been recorded to be taken in Italy, the Iberian peninsula, and Russia. Wolves rarely attack boars head on, preferring to tear at their , causing loss of coordination and massive . In some areas of the former Soviet Union, a single wolf pack can consume an average of 50–80 wild boars annually. ξ4 In areas of Italy where the two animals are , the extent to which boars are preyed upon by wolves has led to them developing more aggressive behaviour toward both wolves and .

occasionally feed on boars, though it has been suggested that only hyenas from the three larger subspecies present in Northwest Africa, the Middle East, and India can successfully kill them.

Young piglets are important prey for several species, including large snakes, such as the , large , and various wild . In Australia many piglets are killed by dingos. Adults, due to their size, strength, and defensive aggression, are generally avoided as prey. However, they have been taken additionally by mature ; large bears (mainly ); and mature . All predators of boars are opportunistic and would take piglets given the opportunity. Where introduced outside of their natural range, boars may be at the top of the food chain, but it is possible that they can be taken by predators similar to those in their native Eurasia, such as large snakes, raptors, cats, wolves, and other large predators. The (Bubo bubo) has been caught on video successfully attacking and killing a wild boar piglet.

Interactions with humans

Aggression towards humans
Although wild boars do not generally pose a threat to people, they occasionally attack humans. Due to the clearing of natural boar habitats, the number of interactions, including aggressive ones, between humans and boars has increased. When dealing aggressively with a human, boars will charge at them. Sometimes, these may be bluff charges but, in other cases, violent contact will be made. While the impact of the large, hard-skulled head may cause considerable damage itself, most damage is inflicted by the boar's tusk. When ramming into a person, the boar will slash the tusks upwards, creating sizeable open lacerations on the skin. Due to the height of the boar relative to a human, most wounds are inflicted to the upper legs. Some attacks are provoked, such as when hunters wound a boar which then counterattacks. Male boars become most aggressive during the mating season and may charge at humans at such times. Occasionally, female boars will attack if they feel their piglets are threatened, especially if a human physically comes between them and their young. Although a majority of boar attack victims recover with medical treatment, fatalities do occasionally occur.

In the boar, like the , was a 'beast of venery', the most prestigious form of quarry. It was normally hunted by being harboured, or found by a '', or handled on a leash, before the pack of hounds was released to pursue it on its hot scent. In The poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight a is described, which depicts how dangerous the boar could be to the pack hounds, or , which hunted it. Medieval hunters used special (along with polearms and various swords) to hunt wild boar. The distinguishing characteristic of the boar spear is a wide cross guard behind the spearhead to prevent the boar from charging up the haft and goring the spearman.

The ancient Scottish is said to have acquired the name Swinton for their bravery and clearing their area of wild boar. The chief's coat of arms and the clan crest allude to this legend, as is the name of the village of Swinewood in the county of which was granted to them in the 11th century.

Wild boar are still occasionally hunted, especially where not legally protected. The minimum safe calibre for shooting wild boar is generally considered to be with 85 grain or heavier expanding projectiles, with larger calibres being recommended. Repeating action shotguns loaded with can also be used. Wild boar are strong, solidly built animals with sharp tusks and a willingness to defend themselves vigorously. Boar are known to charge the hunter after a missed shot or a wound that is not immediately lethal; because of this, some of the earliest were actually used by boar hunters rather than military forces.Blackmore, Howard L. (2000) Hunting Weapons: From the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century. Courier Dover Publications. pp. 66–70, ISBN 0486409619.Boutell, Charles. (1907) Arms and armour in antiquity and the Middle Ages. Reeves & Turner. p. 166.

Wild boar farming in the UK
Captive wild boar in Britain are kept in private or public wildlife collections and in zoos, but exist predominantly on farms. Because wild boar are included in the , certain legal requirements have to be met prior to setting up a farm. A licence to keep boar is required from the local council, who will appoint a specialist to inspect the premises and report back to the council. Requirements include secure accommodation and fencing, correct drainage, temperature, lighting, hygiene, ventilation and insurance.

The original British wild boar farm stock was mainly of French origin, but from 1987 onwards, farmers have supplemented the original stock with animals of both west European and east European origin. The east European animals were imported from farm stock in Sweden because Sweden, unlike eastern Europe, has a similar health status for pigs to that of Britain. Currently there is no central register listing all the wild boar farms in the UK; the total number of wild boar farms is unknown.

Commercial use
In many countries, boar are farmed for their meat, and in France and Italy, for example, boar ( sanglier in French, cinghiale in Italian) may often be found for sale in butcher shops or offered in restaurants (although the consumption of wild boar meat has been linked to transmission of in Japan). In Germany, boar meat ranks among the highest priced types of meat. In certain countries, such as Laos and parts of China, boar meat is considered an aphrodisiac.

The hair of the boar was often used for the production of the until the invention of synthetic materials in the 1930s. The hair for the bristles usually came from the neck area of the boar. While such brushes were popular because the bristles were soft, this was not the best material for as the hairs were slow to dry and usually retained bacteria. Today's toothbrushes are made with plastic bristles. Boar hair is used in the manufacture of boar-bristle hairbrushes, which are considered to be gentler on hair – and are much more expensive – than common plastic-bristle hairbrushes. However, among shaving brushes, which are almost exclusively made with animal fibres, the cheaper models use boar bristles, while badger hair is used in much more expensive models.

Boar hair is used in the manufacture of paintbrushes, especially those used for oil painting. Boar bristle paintbrushes are stiff enough to spread thick paint well, and the naturally split or "flagged" tip of the untrimmed bristle helps hold more paint.

Despite claims that boar bristles have been used in the manufacture of premium for use with steel-tipped darts, these boards are, in fact, made of other materials and fibres – the finest ones from rope.

Mythology, religion, history and fiction
In the boar was sacred to the Gallic goddess , and boar hunting features in several stories of Celtic and . One such story is that of how ("Finn McCool") lured his rival to his death—gored by a wild boar.

In the comic series set in , wild boar are the favourite food of whose immense appetite means that he can eat several roasted boar in a single sitting.

(meaning "Gold Mane or Golden Bristles") is a boar in Norse mythology. Likewise, in most European pagan traditions, the wild boar is associated with male , such as , and , due to the nature of death and rebirth attached to the boar's connection to the earth and necrophagous behaviour.Faulkes (1999)

In , the third of was , a boar. Varaha (Hindu mythology) - Encyclopedia Britannica Manas: Indian Religions, Vishnu Indian Mythology - Hindu Mythology Articles, Facts @ Indian >> VARAHA AVATAR Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide - Roshen Dalal - Google Books The Book of Vishnu - Nanditha Krishna - Google Books

, the principal protagonist of 's epic carried a distinctive scar inflicted by a boar in his youth.

A story from , which is reproduced in the , states that one night dreamed he was about to be killed by a wild boar during a , but was saved by the appearance of a child, who had promised to save the emperor if he would give him clothes to cover his nakedness. The interpreted this dream to mean that the child was and that he wanted the emperor to repair the roof of the – which Charlemagne duly did.

Folklore, in the Forest of Dean, England, tells of a giant boar, known as the , which terrorised villagers in the early 19th century.

In the story by writer , a young boy hunts a large boar in during the .

In of , , the 13th King of , hunted a great boar and slayed it, but was gored in the process and died of his wounds.Tolkien, J. R. R. (1955), , 2nd edition (1966), George Allen & Unwin, Appendix A:II p.350 The confrontation took place in the woods of , a name Tolkien derived from eofor, meaning "boar". A more direct application of this Old English in found in , an early prince of Rohan, although Tolkien knew the name from the epic of .

Heraldry and other symbolic use
The wild boar and a boar's head are common in . It represents what are often seen as the positive qualities of the boar, namely courage and fierceness in battle. The arms of the Campbell of Possil family (see ) include the head, erect and erased of a wild boar, as does the crest . The arms of the also possess wild boar, as does the coat of arms of the Purcell family. At least three are known to have had a boar as their emblems: , and .

A boar is a long-standing symbol of the city of , Italy. In 's Emblemata (1584), beneath a woodcut of the first raising of Milan's city walls, a boar is seen lifted from the excavation. The foundation of Milan is credited to two Celtic peoples, the and the , having as their a ram and a boar respectively ( Bituricis vervex, Heduis dat sucula signum.); therefore "The city's symbol is a wool-bearing boar, an animal of double form, here with sharp bristles, there with sleek wool," ( Laniger huic signum sus est, animálque biforme, Acribus hinc setis, lanitio inde levi). Alciato credits the most saintly and learned for his account.

(r. 1483–1485) used the as his and badge. It was also passed to his short-lived son, .

Feral pigs
Domestic pigs can escape and quite readily become , and feral populations are problematic in several ways. They can cause significant amount of damage to trees and other vegetation and may feed on the eggs of ground-nesting birds and turtles. Feral pigs often interbreed with wild boar, producing descendants similar in appearance to wild boar; these can then be difficult to distinguish from natural or introduced true wild boar. The characterisation of populations as feral pig, escaped domestic pig or wild boar is usually decided by where the animals are encountered and what is known of their history. In New Zealand, for example, feral pigs are known as "Captain Cookers" from their supposed descent from liberations and gifts to by explorer Captain in the 1770s. ξ5 New Zealand feral pigs are also frequently known as "tuskers", due to their appearance.

One characteristic by which domestic and feral animals are differentiated is their coats. Feral animals almost always have thick, bristly coats ranging in colour from brown through grey to black. A prominent ridge of hair matching the spine is also common, giving rise to the name in the southern United States, where they are common. The tail is usually long and straight. Feral animals tend also to have longer legs than domestic breeds and a longer and narrower head and snout. A very large swine dubbed was shot in , United States, in June 2004. Initially thought to be a , the story became something of an internet sensation. investigated the story, sending scientists into the field. After exhuming the animal and performing testing, it was determined that Hogzilla was a hybrid of wild boar and domestic swine. , the estimated population of 4 million feral pigs caused an estimated US$800 million of property damage per year in the U.S.

The problematic nature of feral hogs has caused several states in the U.S. to declare feral hogs to be an invasive species. Often, these states will have greatly reduced (or even non-existent) hunting regulations regarding feral hogs. In , no hunting permit is required for the taking of wild boar; hunters may take as many as they like with any weapon. The requests that hunters who encounter feral hogs shoot them on sight. Caution is advised, as feral pigs can use their tusks defensively, and hog hunters consider them dangerous when injured or cornered. Similarly, in , the allows them to be taken at any time of the year, by any method, with no limit; the only rules are that a person must have a hunting license and permission of the landowner.

At the beginning of the 20th century, wild boar were introduced for hunting in the United States, where they interbred in parts with free roaming . In South America, , New Zealand, Australia and other islands, wild boar have also been introduced by humans and have partially interbred with domestic pigs.

In South America, also during the early 20th century, free-ranging boars were introduced in Uruguay for hunting purposes and eventually crossed the border into Brazil sometime during the 1990s, quickly becoming an , licensed private hunting of both feral boars and hybrids ( javaporcos) being allowed from August 2005 on in the Southern Brazilian state of , INSTRUÇÃO NORMATIVA Nº 71, DE 04 DE AGOSTO DE 2005.. SERVIÇO PÚBLICO FEDERAL. MINISTÉRIO DO MEIO AMBIENTE. INSTITUTO BRASILEIRO DO MEIO AMBIENTE E DOS RECURSOS NATURAIS RENOVÁVEIS although their presence as a pest had been already noticed by the press as early as 1994."Javali: fronteiras rompidas" ("Boars break across the border") Globo Rural 9:99, January 1994, ISSN 0102-6178, pp. 32, 35 Releases and escapes from unlicensed farms (established because of increased demand for boar meat as an alternative to pork), however, continued to bolster feral populations and by mid-2008 licensed hunts had to be expanded to the states of and . Such licensed hunts were, however, forbidden in 2010 by , which argued the necessity of additional studies for devising a strategy of pest control for boars. Meanwhile, boars and boar crosses were spotted in the State of , where cases of crop raiding were reported in the municipality of . There was also the danger of an escape from an unlicensed farm in , which was closed in December 2011, all 316 animals being sent to an abattoir. "Operação na APA Macaé de Cima termina com a apreensão de 226 javalis". Jornal do Brasil, 6 December 2011 In October 2010, a rural worker was killed by a boar in , in the State of .

Recently established Brazilian boar populations are not to be confused with long established populations of feral domestic pigs, which have existed mainly in the for more than a hundred years, along with native . The demographic dynamics of the interaction between feral pigs populations and those of the two native species of peccaries ( and ) is obscure and is being studied presently. It has been proposed that the existence of feral pigs could somewhat ease predation on peccary populations, as jaguars would show a preference for hunting pigs, when these are available.

Feral hogs can rapidly increase their population. Sows can have up to 10 offspring per litter, and are able to have two litters per year. Each piglet reaches sexual maturity at 6 months of age. They have virtually no natural predators.Perot, Michael. Coping with feral hogs. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Wildlife Division, Private Lands Program.

See also

External links

    ^ (2024). 9781889963723, University of Alaska Press. .
    ^ (1987). 9780521346979
    ^ (1999). 9788825379044
    ^ (2024). 9781550593327
    ^ (2024). 9780312422608, Picador.

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