I have contacted the editor of the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review to comment and hopefully get an article published, sticking up for the wild boar, instead of condemning it.
The article I am refering to is from page 5 of, Volume 29, No 24, week ending 12th June 2009.
Here is my reply.....
To the editor,
I am writing in response to your article featuring the wild boar, Vol29, No24, WE: 12th June 2009.
Hopefully you will see fit to publish my views. My name is Robin Ward, I am 40 years old and I live in Cinderford in the Forest of Dean. I am a company Director and I have lived in the Dean all my life.
It saddens me when people make assumptions about certain species just because they don't fit in like the rest of our wildlife. Take the wild boar and the snake for instance. I have been photographing our native snakes for many years and I took my first wild boar photograph back in 2006. Since then I have had many encounters with them, sometimes on their own and sometimes with their young, but not once have I encountered an aggressive one! I am passionate about all our wildlife, I also believe that everything has a right to live and that we should not condemn and persecute without obtaining the facts. When people make assumptions like, if I were a child, it would have stood no chance! This is just another nail in the wild boar's coffin, how can anyone make this assumption? The boar sees dogs as a threat, not humans. They are inquisitive and have poor eyesight, only being able to distinguish blue from the three primary colours, so when they see something large walking through the forest, they have to get close to see what it is and if there is something roughly the same size as them on all fours (your dog), then yes they could see it as a threat, especially if they have young present.
The boar, which supposedly charged Mr. ??? would have been trotting up to check him and his dogs out. I have experienced this many times and I have even captured it on video, see link below. There has been a sow and three piglets in the woods where Mr. ??? saw the boar recently, she has been spotted on numerous occasions and I wouldn't be surprised if this was the boar that he saw. I have attached a photograph of her ((c) Robin Ward), taken by me only 2 weeks ago in the same place as Mr. ??? saw his.
I can understand peoples concerns as it is a species, which has not roamed our forests since the 17th Century and people don't know what to expect, but like any wild animal in the Forest of Dean, treat them with respect and leave well alone.
I agree that they will require managing like the fallow deer as they have no natural predators, but the Forestry Commission already manage the deer, so there should be no issue there? I have also attached a few more of my photographs, all from the Forest of Dean. Hopefully you will be able to put together a nice piece, rejoicing our wildlife?
I am also an external writer for BBC Gloucestershire on their nature section, having 8 articles published to date. See BBC wild boar link below. Wild boar video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPlg2oTfKKM Link to my BBC feature: http://www.bbc.co.uk/gloucestershire/content/articles/2007/11/22/wild_boar_feature.shtml
It's not a sin to love wildlife, we need it to survive!