Two days ago I read that the Italian Constitutional Court had given the go- ahead for killing wild boar. The reasons it gave were that wild boar can be a danger to humans, cause serious traffic accidents, destroy crops and spread disease.
The boar are definitely a nuisance and are increasing alarmingly in numbers. When I first came to this area in 1975 for several years I never even saw a boar. As their numbers increased we became accustomed in the autumn to the cries of the boar hunters and the barking and squealing of their dogs. Apparently wild boar from Hungary were introduced into Tuscany after the war and, as there were no natural predators then (wolves arrived much later), they multiplied rapidly. There are signs of them everywhere as they dig up the fields, erode the banks and block the ditches. They are usually not dangerous except when defending their young, but you have to be wary when you walk in the woods in the early morning or at dusk.
This news was strangely very topical because just two days before this announcement our Maremmana, Alba, was gored by a boar defending its young. This happened quite unexpectedly in the late afternoon while Alba and her companions Emi and Siria were being taken on a walk in the woods,. Alba is usually very savvy when it comes to confronting boar, so she must have been ambushed or taken by surprise when she chased one of the very young boars into the undergrowth.
The gash under her left shoulder was long but not deep. We luckily found a vet who was working on a Saturday evening and had the wound stitched up. It all went just fine, but now she has to take antibiotics for five days and wear an uncomfortable collar. Fortunately she is a very good patient.
All in a day’s work when you live in the country.