A female boar and two piglets
A female boar and two piglets
Photo: EPA
A female boar and two piglets

Haifa’s boars take to empty streets en masse

Wild boars in the northern city is nothing new, but with the area under virus lockdown, the animals’ presence is more felt than ever

Ahiya Raved |
Published: 04.15.20 , 22:34
For years now, Haifa municipality has been conducting a stubborn battle against its wild boar phenomenon, many of which come from the valleys around the city, and sometimes get within several meters of resident's homes.
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  • The growing lack of water and food, alongside easily accessible trash bins and cat food, has made the city into a cornucopia for the creatures.
    A female boar and two piglets A female boar and two piglets
    A female boar and two piglets
    (Photo: EPA)
    But many times, the pigs are not satisfied just with food found on the city's streets - resulting in them entering backyards and causing damage to gardens.
    Several confrontations between citizens and boars have already been documented in the city.
     A group of boars digging up a backyard in Haifa  A group of boars digging up a backyard in Haifa
    A group of boars digging up a backyard in Haifa
    (Photo: EPA)
    "The problem is that they have lost their instinctive fear of humans," said a municipal official. "Even pets have got used to them."
    Attorney Avital Ben-Nun, one the city's main advocates for a humane solution to the issue, said that the growing number of boars has nothing to do with coronavirus, but instead with spring being their main breeding season.
    "The boars, which are divided into two main groups, have now expanded due to the season," she said. "They mostly roam in groups of two or three adult boars and several piglets."
     A young male boar  A young male boar
    A young male boar
    (Photo: EPA)
    She said that the boars are very adaptable, which is the reason many of the animals are spotted not in their natural family units – only females with their offspring, but also young males.
    Until a year and a half ago, local authorities used armed hunters in what they called a "natural dilution of numbers".
     A young female boar  A young female boar
    A young female boar
    (Photo: EPA)
    The hunting has stopped since the current mayor, Einat Kalisch-Rotem, took office.
    Authorities are now using more humane methods to make the journey for the boars from their natural habitats to the city more difficult; including cattle gates, holes with iron beams above them, fencing off gardens and backyards, locking trash bins and even using volunteers to scare the animals away with loud noises.
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