The animals

The wild boar

the Wild boar

An ancestor of the domestic pig, the wild boar is very widespread in forest regions. It is omnivorous: small animals, acorns, beechnuts, grasses, insects etc. form its diet. It makes its home in brushwood and thickets. Males weigh up to 160 kg. The lower and upper canines - the tusks - are very dangerous weapons.

The body is covered with bristles. During the mating season, from November to January, the males engage in furious fights. The female, the gilt, gives birth in March and April to two or three piglets. She hides them in the thickets away from the rest of the herd and can be very aggressive in defending them. Lactation lasts for four months, but at two weeks old the young are already learning to turn the ground over with their snouts. Young boar have light and dark stripes. By six months the stripes have disappeared, and the young take on a reddish colour.

Marcassin

After the age of one year the bristles darken. The wild boar live in groups called "drifts" or "sounders", often led by a female. The adult males generally live alone. Wild boar can cover great distances, moving by day and by night search of food and can cause serious damage. On the Boine hill, the earth is churned by feet and snouts rooting in the ground. During the visit you can also see a wallow - a large muddy pond - in which the boar enjoy rolling to cool down and get rid of parasites.

Wild boar are very strong and agile. Their sense of smell is very highly developed, though their vision is poor. The success of this breed and the serious damage to crops they cause mean that both the habitat and numbers need to be strictly controlled.