Simon Hale (February)
Whilst out snowshoeing in France recently with a group on International Mountain leaders I came upon this baby wild boar which had been attacked and partially eaten. The wild boar is a member of the Pig family and is found in the UK but more commonly across Europe and as far east as Japan.
Numbers of wild boar have increased in recent decades, possibly due to the decreasing number of natural predators, like lynx and wolves. Foxes will occasionally feed on boar but normally only when injured or killed by another predator.
A large male boar can weight up to 200kg and live in small social groups of 6 -30 animals. They will only attack humans if they get between them and their piglets. They are primarily nocturnal animals which is why you rarely seem them when out trekking during the day.
With very poor eyesight but exceptional hearing and an acute sense of smell, Wild Boar eat predominantly plant materials often using their snouts to unearth roots, and bulbs. This leaves areas of ground which look almost ploughed and is often the only evidence you see that boar are about. Their diet changes with the seasons to make the most of what nature has on offer, often feeding on chestnuts acorns beech mast and olives.