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Where the wild boars are
Wild boar in undergrowth
(Picture courtesy of britishwildboar.org.uk)
Last updated: 24 February 2005 1619 GMT
line Could there be a colony of wild boar living in the Forest of Dean?
(January 2005)
Audio

Audio Andy Vivian investigates wild boars

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If you go down to the Forest today, you might get a (very) big surprise.

A recent spate of porcine misdemeanours has fuelled speculation that a colony of wild boars could be the latest addition to Gloucestershire's fauna.

In January 2004 one of the creatures, which can weigh up to 200 kg, found its way into a supermarket and knocked over a hapless shopper.

Then, in December, boars chased horsewoman Carla Edmonds through woodland on the Gloucestershire/Monmouthshire border.

The creatures later added insult to injury by digging up around 100 sq ft. of one of her fields.

Despite this apparent vendetta, Ms Edmonds - speaking to BBC News - described seeing the creatures as "amazing".

Most recently, a carcass was discovered on the roadside near the town of Cinderford.

Despite initial expectations, this proved not to be the remains of an animal which had escaped from an abbatoir in January, fuelling speculation of a breeding colony living in the Forest.

Photo Gallery
(Boar in the wild - 22 pictures)

The pig issue

BBC Gloucestershire's Andy Vivian visited the area to investigate.

quote They are relatively shy animals...
quote
Rob Guest

He saw "'what looks like some excavations by someone who's been rather wild with their spade" - likely to have been caused by a boar hunting for chestnuts.

Forest reporter George Harrison believed this was the work of the abbatoir escapee, nicknamed Houdini.

"The animal came through Cinderford in this general direction, then disappeared off the face of the earth," he said.

No body's ever been found, and these holes have started appearing since the animal escaped."

Shy

Rob Guest, deputy surveyor at Coleford's Forest Enterprise, has another theory.

"It's impossible to say for sure," he said, "but it's more than likely that it came from Ross on Wye, where's there's a population of boar, well into double figures, who are well established and breeding."

He advised anyone encountering the animals to "back off", but added: "I think there would be no danger to yourself because they are relatively shy animals and likely to run away.

"But if you had a dog that was not on a lead and it tangled with the boar, I think that's where potential problems would lie."

AUDIO
Andy Vivian investigates wild boars

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