Thursday, 21 January 2010

Feeding Wild Boar is Wrong

There were a few photographs and a write up in this weeks Forest of Dean Review newspaper showing wild boar, which had roamed into a residential area and were being fed by some locals.
It is bad enough feeding them mince pies, but this is just enticing them to come back and if this happens, in the end there will only be one loser.
I am as passionate about the wild boar as I am any animal in our forest and I am concerned that actions like these will just jeopardise the advice given and work being done to protect them. It will add more fuel to the already smouldering fire on whether the boars have a right to an existence in out forest today.

A few facts and guidelines below. These are common sense and have been given to protect us as well as the boar.

  1. Do not feed the boar
  2. Do not attempt to touch them
  3. If you hear or see them and you don't feel comfortable, walk in the opposite direction
  4. Stick to the Forestry Commission footpaths
  5. Keep your dog on a lead while in the forest

Here are the reasons why the above should be obeyed.

  1. If you feed the boar, they will identify humans and more importantly residential areas as a food source. This will have a devastating impact, as the Forestry Commission will have no option but to shoot them, as they will be seen as nuisance boar, when all they really want is food.
  2. Wild boar have self-sharpening tusks and it doesn't matter how friendly they look, one jerk of the head could result in "serious" injury. Then the boar will be labeled man-killers!
  3. I have had more encounters with boar in the Dean than I can remember and not once have I been in any danger whatsoever.
  4. If you are nervous about seeing them, stick to the forestry footpaths, the majority of my sightings have been deep in the forest.
  5. The law states that all dog owners must be in control of their dog at all times ( If your dog worries a wild boar and gets injured, then this is down to the owner, not the dog and not the wild boar.

I understand that it must be tempting to feed a wild animal in hard conditions like we have had recently, but this animal is a large mammal, not a bird.



  1. Some good advice there Rob, I too disagree with feeding the boar as this couple have done, whatever happens there wont be a good outcome, somethings going to loose out. Boar are wild animals and the people who are feeding them are just encouraging them to see people as a food source so there are more likely to be situations where boars can be classed as a 'problem'. Glad to hear the 'cull' is just a rumour tho, meeting the boar i did in the woods has got to be one of my top wildlife moments, i was pumped with adrenaline at the time, a little aprehensive and excited all at once.

  2. Yes you are right Steve, there will not be a good outcome.
    My info on the cull has come indirectly from the Forestry Commission, through a newspaper editor, so it is pretty solid.

    I have seen the boar more time than I can remember. Every time I see them I still get a buzz, the adrenaline still pumps and I still feel the same excitement as the first time I saw them.
    I still get the feeling of anticipation as they are a wild animal, but I have never had a bad encounter.
    I also photograph the adder within inches of the front of my lens and I get the same feelings everytime I see one.

    We are so lucky to live here.