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This animal’s scientific name is Sus scrofa but it’s more popularly known as the wild boar or wild pig. There are 16 different subspecies of wild boars, and their societal structure is peculiar among the animal kingdom. They live in matriarchal groups, where several females and their offspring live together throughout the year. Male boars, on the other hand, tend to be solitary and only approach these groups when the mating season arrives. These groups can be comprised of 3 to 30 different animals, and usually host up to 3 different generations. They’re the direct ancestors of domesticated pigs, as humankind selected the less aggressive specimens to breed new generations of tamed farm animals. Boars are larger and heavier built than normal pigs, and they have surprisingly thin legs compared to their heavy-set body. Their heads are particularly big as well, oftentimes equating to one-third of its entire body. The males tend to be at least 20 percent heavier than their female counterparts. Boars can run up to 25 mph, and they can even jump as high as 59 inches above the ground.
Wild boars can adapt surprisingly well to different habitats and climates. They’ve been found in mountains, forests, and even deserts. Their most common habitat, however, are forests filled with meadows and large trees and bushes behind which they can find refuge from predators. They’re surprisingly capable of thriving in deserts, during the spring and summer. On the island of Komodo, they even prefer to avoid forests altogether unless they notice the presence of humans. They’re fantastic swimmers, being able to cover great distances with little effort, so jumping into the water to try and avoid them would be a bad idea. Boars tend to rest in small groups, close to water, or to sleep hidden within tall grass in order to avoid predators. They step away from their shelters to defecate and use insulating elements such as branches and hay to protect themselves from the environment. Boars have a particularly interesting way of avoiding insects. They’ll roll over soil, covering themselves with dust and pine needles so that bugs and other vermin won’t continue to annoy them. They’re omnivorous and eat everything from roots, nuts or berries to small animals such as rodents, snakes, and lizards. They also feed on all kinds of insects and must ingest around 4500 calories per day. However, during pregnancy, female boars require far higher quantities of food.
Boars have been attacking human beings since the Stone Age. That being said, they’d avoid people altogether rather than confront them. However, they’re considered dangerous animals which can significantly harm their victims. This wild beast usually attacks the legs and hips of human beings, causing penetrating wounds with their thick tusks, though the impact of their massive heads can also cause blunt force trauma. They tend to charge against the shins and thighs and trample over their victim’s body if they fall to the ground. These attacks usually happen in rural areas. Still, some wild boars explore the busy streets of certain cities, particularly in Japan, Hong Kong, and India, where they’ve been known to hurt innocent bystanders. Most of the creatures responsible for attacks are males, since they travel alone, in contrast with the female boar which tends to move in small groups along with their offspring.
More often than not, wild boar attacks occur in the wilderness. You might encounter one in the city, but it’s a rather rare occurrence. So a good way of surviving a boar attack is to be alert while hiking and to keep your distance if you notice one. It’s important not to panic, and if you’re surrounded by trees, to climb one and remain there until the boar leaves. Getting in your car is also a good idea if it’s close by. Usually, if you avoid them as much as possible and remain non-threatening, you should be able to avoid an attack. Make sure not to provoke them in any way, and, whatever you do, don’t offer them any food. If you see boars surrounded by piglets, do not attempt to pet any of them, as mothers are extremely protective of their offspring.
Wild boars might feel intimidated by your presence alone and proceed to charge at you anyway, so simply being careful might not suffice.