The mayor of Rome said the city’s parks are being over-run by wild boars after a sow gave birth to two piglets in an urban park.
The Italian state radio said Saturday Sen. Paolo Emilio Taviani ordered police to shoot on sight any wild boar found in the city center to protect tourists and pedestrians. One boar was hit but escaped while another fell into a trap set for it by game wardens near the Coliseum, officials said.
Taviani has asked hunters living around Rome to watch their woods carefully to prevent more boars from coming into the city, Radio Rome reported Sunday. The dearth of acorns and other nuts caused by a severe drought in central Italy appears to be forcing the wild pigs out of their natural habitat and into Rome, Taviani said.
The radio said a sow gave birth to two piglets Tuesday in a park near Piazza Venezia and the litter was feeding off restaurant refuse in the area when spotted by game wardens.
Wild Boar Invading Rome; Mayor Sends Troops, Traps
This is one of many such articles that appeared between 1971 and 1980 reporting increased boar populations in Italian forests due to surplus killing activities during World War II and its aftermath.
To give another example, in 1974, hunters in Liguria killed 29,000 wild boar. In the following years their population increased significantly after a decrease during the war (Sabella 1974). Human-generated food-surpluses resulting from habitat destruction were thus most likely responsible for most of the modern expansions of European wild boar populations discussed here. As will be shown below, the same cannot be said for brown bear or wolf populations in Italy.
Hunters with dogs trail wild boars during a drive by Italian hunters in the Porretta Terme area, about 25 miles southwest of Bologna, on May 9th 1975. Wild boars are protected by law but may be hunted with special permission.
Wild boars had been extinct in Tuscany for more than a century before their reintroduction began around the turn of the millennium. The first releases were carried out by private parties. They released three different groups of wild boar between 2002 and 2004. All reintroductions took place on hunting estates and involved farm-raised animals that originated from Slovakia and Hungary (Reale & Borin 2007: 72, 75). Thanks to this management strategy, within just seven years – i.e., by October 2009 – I was able to document a population consisting of roughly 1,600 individuals roaming an area of 700 km² (Reale & Borin 2010). More than half of this population’s home range was located within the boundaries of the National Park of Casentinesi, Monte Falterona e Campigna. This population has almost certainly grown since October 2009. However, absolute numbers are not known due to insufficient data on wild boar distribution during winter (Boitani et al. 2007: S6).
There is an invasion of wild boar on the streets of Rome and it’s not looking good for Mayor Virginia Raggi. The mayor has been trying to get rid of these pesky pigs for weeks now, but they keep coming back! She has resorted to sending troops out to capture them, setting up traps to catch them alive, and even hiring hunters to kill them all. However, the problem has only gotten worse since she began her campaign against these invaders. Why won’t they just leave us alone and go back home where they belong? Why must we put up with these boars’ garbage and horrible smell? The citizens of Rome demand answers!
The town council has responded by hiring a crack team of wildlife experts to take charge. They’ve set out across the city to find the root causes behind this invasion and stop it at all costs! They will explore every possible problem, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. The hunt for the truth begins now…
This week our team studied one of Rome’s busiest roads, Via dei Fori Imperiali, which runs right through Center-Town – or as we know it: ‘Boar Central’. The busy traffic that speeds along here has certainly helped spread their population throughout the city. Winding its way through Center-Town, Via dei Fori Imperiali is surrounded by some of Rome’s most famous landmarks: the Roman Forum, the Palatino Hill and the Coliseum, to name just a few. On this street it’s possible to see countless ruins of Ancient Rome – but did you know many boars can be seen right here too?
It didn’t take long for our team to find an injured stray wandering along this busy stretch of road. They managed to lure him in with some apples they brought along with them! It was quite surprising how easily he submitted himself to capture; perhaps he was hungry after all (it should be noted that he has since been released back into his natural habitat). Having accomplished their first task, our team set off once again to keep looking for wild boars – and they weren’t disappointed.
The next day our experts went back to the same street with some raw meat in an attempt to catch another boar or two, but this time they had help from a bearded man wearing traditional Italian clothing. Given his attire, it was clear he was there as part of some sort of event commemorating Ancient Rome’s history…which seems quite appropriate given that he then proceeded to help them hunt down more wild boars! Together they managed to capture several of these pigs on film, making use of their expert boar-trapping skills. What luck! They’re not getting away this time…
This is surely a great start for our team, but they’re not finished yet! The next day they went to another part of the city in search of more wild boars. This time they were armed with nets, which didn’t quite turn out like they’d hoped. If only there were some other way to catch these pesky pigs! Perhaps our team could try laying traps? Perhaps even dig some trenches to stop them in their tracks? No matter what happens, one thing’s certain: we won’t rest until every last wild boar has been driven out of Rome forever.
”I don’t know why you bother trapping the wild boars because when you turn your back for just 5 seconds they escape!” said one woman. ”I don’t know what could be worse than a wild boar in the middle of a busy road!” said another. Ever since the government started hunting them down, these beasts have been terrorizing innocent citizens throughout Rome – so much so that traffic has been brought to a standstill in many areas due to their presence! This is no way for a civilized society to function.