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.
- Do not feed the boar
- Do not attempt to touch them
- If you hear or see them and you don't feel comfortable, walk in the opposite direction
- Stick to the Forestry Commission footpaths
- Keep your dog on a lead while in the forest
Here are the reasons why the above should be obeyed.
- 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.
- 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!
- I have had more encounters with boar in the Dean than I can remember and not once have I been in any danger whatsoever.
- If you are nervous about seeing them, stick to the forestry footpaths, the majority of my sightings have been deep in the forest.
- The law states that all dog owners must be in control of their dog at all times (http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/enjoying/countrysidecode/keepdogs.aspx). 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.