Forest of Dean: 'Tamed' wild boars seek food in villages

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Wild boar in Forest of DeanImage source, The Boaring Truth
Image caption,
The estimated population of wild boar in the Forest of Dean in 2019/20 was just over 1,100

Wild boars in the Forest of Dean are wandering into villages looking for food as they lose a "fear of humans".

The Boaring Truth blamed a group of wildlife photographers for "feeding and taming" the creatures in a bid to entice them into a shot.

The conservation charity said the boars now looked on humans as a "source for food", and residents had complained.

Forestry England said feeding wild boar was illegal, "bad for their health" and risked spreading disease.

Image source, The Boaring Truth
Image caption,
Forestry England said feeding wild boar is bad for their health

Scott Passmore, from The Boaring Truth, said the group did not want to name the specific area affected as it didn't want to "make the situation worse".

"We understand many residents have made complaints against the photographers and tame boar," he said.

"This illegal activity is exploitation of our wildlife for monetary gain and it must stop.

"Once habituated, boar will walk around residential housing and root around the roadside like sheep as they lose their natural fear of humans and only look on us as a source for food."

Image source, Robin Jones
Image caption,
Wildlife photographer Robin Jones said photographers like him had a "responsibility to treat wildlife with respect"

Robin Jones, a professional wildlife photographer who is based in the Forest of Dean, said The Boaring Truth's concerns were "incredibly valid".

He said: "They refer to an area that became noticed by some wildlife photographers as having a good success rate in getting photographs of wild boar.

"I myself used to visit this place and over time it became more apparent that the area had been baited, with reports of some people actually feeding them from their hands."

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Image source, The Boaring Truth
Image caption,
Wildlife group The Boaring Truth aims to "build an honest platform" to help people learn and understand the creatures

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