Boar
Overview
Wild boar, also wild pig, (Sus scrofa) is a species of the pig genus Sus, part of the biological family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 Suidae
Suidae
Suidae is the biological family to which pigs belong. In addition to numerous fossil species, up to sixteen extant species are currently recognized, classified into between four and eight genera...

. The species includes many subspecies
Subspecies
Subspecies in biological classification, is either a taxonomic rank subordinate to species, ora taxonomic unit in that rank . A subspecies cannot be recognized in isolation: a species will either be recognized as having no subspecies at all or two or more, never just one...

. It is the wild ancestor of the domestic pig
Domestic pig
The domestic pig is a domesticated animal that traces its ancestry to the wild boar, and is considered a subspecies of the wild boar or a distinct species in its own right. It is likely the wild boar was domesticated as early as 13,000 BC in the Tigris River basin...

, an animal with which it freely hybridises. Wild boar are native across much of Northern and Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

, the Mediterranean Region
Mediterranean Basin
In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation...

 (including North Africa's Atlas Mountains
Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains is a mountain range across a northern stretch of Africa extending about through Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The highest peak is Toubkal, with an elevation of in southwestern Morocco. The Atlas ranges separate the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert...

) and much of Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 as far south as Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. Populations have also been artificially introduced in some parts of the world, most notably the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 and Australasia
Australasia
Australasia is a region of Oceania comprising Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. The term was coined by Charles de Brosses in Histoire des navigations aux terres australes...

, principally for hunting.
Encyclopedia
Wild boar, also wild pig, (Sus scrofa) is a species of the pig genus Sus, part of the biological family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 Suidae
Suidae
Suidae is the biological family to which pigs belong. In addition to numerous fossil species, up to sixteen extant species are currently recognized, classified into between four and eight genera...

. The species includes many subspecies
Subspecies
Subspecies in biological classification, is either a taxonomic rank subordinate to species, ora taxonomic unit in that rank . A subspecies cannot be recognized in isolation: a species will either be recognized as having no subspecies at all or two or more, never just one...

. It is the wild ancestor of the domestic pig
Domestic pig
The domestic pig is a domesticated animal that traces its ancestry to the wild boar, and is considered a subspecies of the wild boar or a distinct species in its own right. It is likely the wild boar was domesticated as early as 13,000 BC in the Tigris River basin...

, an animal with which it freely hybridises. Wild boar are native across much of Northern and Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

, the Mediterranean Region
Mediterranean Basin
In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation...

 (including North Africa's Atlas Mountains
Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains is a mountain range across a northern stretch of Africa extending about through Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The highest peak is Toubkal, with an elevation of in southwestern Morocco. The Atlas ranges separate the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert...

) and much of Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 as far south as Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. Populations have also been artificially introduced in some parts of the world, most notably the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 and Australasia
Australasia
Australasia is a region of Oceania comprising Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. The term was coined by Charles de Brosses in Histoire des navigations aux terres australes...

, principally for hunting. Elsewhere, populations have also become established after escapes of wild boar from captivity.

Name

The term boar is used to denote an adult male of certain species — including, confusingly, domestic pigs. However, for wild boar, it applies to the whole species, including, for example, "wild boar sow" or "wild boar piglet".

Wild boar are also known by various names, including wild hogs or simply boars. In North America they are more commonly referred to as razorback
Razorback
Razorback is an Americanism, loosely applied to any type of feral pig or wild boar in North America. The term has also appeared in Australia, to describe said animals in that country.-Introduction to the Americas:...

s
or European boars.

Physical characteristics

The body of the wild boar is compact; the head is large, the legs relatively short. The fur
Fur
Fur is a synonym for hair, used more in reference to non-human animals, usually mammals; particularly those with extensives body hair coverage. The term is sometimes used to refer to the body hair of an animal as a complete coat, also known as the "pelage". Fur is also used to refer to animal...

 consists of stiff bristles and usually finer fur. The colour usually varies from dark grey to black or brown, but there are great regional differences in colour; even whitish animals are known from central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

. During winter the fur is much denser.

Adult boars measure 90–200 cm (35.4–78.7 in) in length, not counting a tail of 15–40 cm (5.9–15.7 in), and have a shoulder height of 55–110 cm (21.7–43.3 in). As a whole, their average weight is 50–90 kg (110–200 pounds), though boars show a great deal of weight variation within their geographical ranges. In central Italy, their weight usually ranges from 80 to 100 kg (176.4 to 220.5 lb) while boars shot in Tuscany
Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

 have been recorded to weigh up to 150 kg (331 lb). An unusually large French specimen shot in Negremont forest in Ardenne in 1999 weighed 227 kg (550 lb). Carpathian
Carpathian
Carpathian may refer to:*Carpathian Mountains of Central and Eastern Europe*Carpathian Convention on sustainable development in that region*Carpathian Shepherd Dog, a Romanian sheep dog*Subcarpathian Voivodeship, an administrative division of Poland...

 boars have been recorded to reach weights of 200 kg (441 lb). Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

n and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n boars can reach weights of 300 kg (661 lb), while unconfirmed giants reported in early Russian hunting journals have reportedly weighed up to 320 kg (705.5 lb). Generally speaking, native Eurasian boars follow Bergmann's rule
Bergmann's Rule
Bergmann's rule is an ecogeographic principle that states that within a broadly distributed genus, species of larger size are found in colder environments, and species of smaller size are found in warmer regions. Although originally formulated in terms of species within a genus, it has often been...

, with smaller boars nearer the tropics and larger, smaller-eared boars in the North of their range. Mature sows from Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 and southern India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 may weigh as little as 44 kg (97 lb).

Adult males develop tusk
Tusk
Tusks are elongated, continuously growing front teeth, usually but not always in pairs, that protrude well beyond the mouth of certain mammal species. They are most commonly canines, as with warthogs, wild boar, and walruses, or, in the case of elephants and narwhals, elongated incisors...

s, continuously growing teeth that protrude from the mouth, from their upper and lower canine teeth. These serve as weapons and tools. The upper tusks are bent upwards in males, and are regularly ground against the lower ones to produce sharp edges. The tusks normally measure about 6 cm (2.4 in), in exceptional cases even 12 cm (4.7 in). Females also have sharp canines, but they are smaller, and not protruding like the males' tusks.

Wild boar piglets are coloured differently from adults, having marbled chocolate and cream stripes lengthwise over their bodies. The stripes fade by the time the piglet is about 6 months old, when the animal takes on the adult's grizzled grey or brown colour (see photo in Reproduction section to compare adult and juvenile colouring).

Behaviour/social structure

Adult males are usually solitary outside of the breeding season, but females and their offspring (both sub-adult males and females) live in groups called sounders. Sounders typically number around 20 animals, although groups of over 50 have been seen, and will consist of 2 to 3 sows; one of which will be the dominant female. Group structure changes with the coming and going of farrowing females, the migration of maturing males (usually when they reach around 20 months) and the arrival of unrelated sexually active males.
Wild boar are situationally crepuscular
Crepuscular
Crepuscular animals are those that are active primarily during twilight, that is during dawn and dusk. The word is derived from the Latin word crepusculum, meaning "twilight." Crepuscular is, thus, in contrast with diurnal and nocturnal behavior. Crepuscular animals may also be active on a bright...

 or nocturnal, foraging in early morning and late afternoon or at night, but resting for periods during both night and day. They are omnivorous
Omnivore
Omnivores are species that eat both plants and animals as their primary food source...

 scavengers, eating almost anything they come across, including grass
Grass
Grasses, or more technically graminoids, are monocotyledonous, usually herbaceous plants with narrow leaves growing from the base. They include the "true grasses", of the Poaceae family, as well as the sedges and the rushes . The true grasses include cereals, bamboo and the grasses of lawns ...

, nuts
Nut (fruit)
A nut is a hard-shelled fruit of some plants having an indehiscent seed. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts in English, only a certain number of them are considered by biologists to be true nuts...

, berries
Berry
The botanical definition of a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary. Grapes are an example. The berry is the most common type of fleshy fruit in which the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp. They may have one or more carpels with a thin covering and fleshy interiors....

, carrion
Carrion
Carrion refers to the carcass of a dead animal. Carrion is an important food source for large carnivores and omnivores in most ecosystems. Examples of carrion-eaters include vultures, hawks, eagles, hyenas, Virginia Opossum, Tasmanian Devils, coyotes, Komodo dragons, and burying beetles...

, root
Root
In vascular plants, the root is the organ of a plant that typically lies below the surface of the soil. This is not always the case, however, since a root can also be aerial or aerating . Furthermore, a stem normally occurring below ground is not exceptional either...

s, tuber
Tuber
Tubers are various types of modified plant structures that are enlarged to store nutrients. They are used by plants to survive the winter or dry months and provide energy and nutrients for regrowth during the next growing season and they are a means of asexual reproduction...

s, refuse
Waste
Waste is unwanted or useless materials. In biology, waste is any of the many unwanted substances or toxins that are expelled from living organisms, metabolic waste; such as urea, sweat or feces. Litter is waste which has been disposed of improperly...

, insect
Insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s and small reptile
Reptile
Reptiles are members of a class of air-breathing, ectothermic vertebrates which are characterized by laying shelled eggs , and having skin covered in scales and/or scutes. They are tetrapods, either having four limbs or being descended from four-limbed ancestors...

s. Wild boar in Australia are also known to be predators of young deer and lambs
Domestic sheep
Sheep are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like all ruminants, sheep are members of the order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name "sheep" applies to many species in the genus Ovis, in everyday usage it almost always refers to Ovis aries...

.

If surprised or cornered, a boar (particularly a sow with her piglets) can and will defend itself and its young with intense vigor. The male lowers its head, charges, and then slashes upward with his tusks. The female, whose tusks are not visible, charges with her head up, mouth wide, and bites. Such attacks are not often fatal to humans, but may result in severe trauma, dismemberment, or blood loss.

Reproduction

Sexual activity and testosterone
Testosterone
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group and is found in mammals, reptiles, birds, and other vertebrates. In mammals, testosterone is primarily secreted in the testes of males and the ovaries of females, although small amounts are also secreted by the adrenal glands...

 production in males is triggered by decreasing day length, reaching a peak in mid-autumn. The normally solitary males then move into female groups, and rival males fight for dominance, whereupon the largest and most dominant males achieve the most mating
Mating
In biology, mating is the pairing of opposite-sex or hermaphroditic organisms for copulation. In social animals, it also includes the raising of their offspring. Copulation is the union of the sex organs of two sexually reproducing animals for insemination and subsequent internal fertilization...

.

The age of puberty for sows ranges from 8 to 24 months of age depending on environmental and nutritional factors. Pregnancy lasts approximately 115 days and a sow will leave the group to construct a mound-like nest out of vegetation and dirt, 1–3 days before giving birth (farrowing).

The process of giving birth to a litter lasts between 2 and 3 hours, and the sow and piglets remain in, or close to, the nest for 4–6 days. Sows rejoin the group after 4–5 days, and the piglets will cross suckle between other lactating sows.

Litter size is typically 4–6 piglets but may be smaller for first litter, usually 2–3. The largest litters can be up to 14 piglets. The sex ratio at birth is 1:1. Litter size of wild boars may vary depending on their location. A study in the Great Smoky Mountains
Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range rising along the Tennessee–North Carolina border in the southeastern United States. They are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, and form part of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province. The range is sometimes called the Smoky Mountains or the...

 National Park in the US reported a mean litter size of 3.3. A similar study on Santa Catalina Island, California
Santa Catalina Island, California
Santa Catalina Island, often called Catalina Island, or just Catalina, is a rocky island off the coast of the U.S. state of California. The island is long and across at its greatest width. The island is located about south-southwest of Los Angeles, California. The highest point on the island is...

 reported a mean litter size of 5. Larger litter sizes have been reported in the Middle East. Piglets weigh 750g – 1000g at birth. Rooting behaviour develops in piglets as early as the first few days of life, and piglets are fully weaned after 3–4 months. They will begin to eat solid foods such as worms and grubs after about 2 weeks.

Reconstructed range

Wild boar were originally found in North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 and much of Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

; from the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

 to Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 and the Sunda Islands
Sunda Islands
The Sunda Islands are a group of islands that form part of the Malay archipelago.They are further divided into the Greater Sunda Islands and the Lesser Sunda Islands.-Administration:...

. The northern limit of its range extended from southern Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

 to southern Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. Within this range it was absent in extremely dry deserts and alpine
Alpine climate
Alpine climate is the average weather for a region above the tree line. This climate is also referred to as mountain climate or highland climate....

 zones.

A few centuries ago it was found in North Africa along the Nile
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

 valley up to Khartum and north of the Sahara
Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

. The reconstructed northern boundary of the range in Asia ran from Lake Ladoga
Lake Ladoga
Lake Ladoga is a freshwater lake located in the Republic of Karelia and Leningrad Oblast in northwestern Russia, not far from Saint Petersburg. It is the largest lake in Europe, and the 14th largest lake by area in the world.-Geography:...

 (at 60°N) through the area of Novgorod and Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 into the southern Ural
Ural (region)
Ural is a geographical region located around the Ural Mountains, between the East European and West Siberian plains. It extends approximately from north to south, from the Arctic Ocean to the bend of Ural River near Orsk city. The boundary between Europe and Asia runs along the eastern side of...

, where it reached 52°N. From there the boundary passed Ishim
Ishim
Ishim is a town in the south of Tyumen Oblast, Russia. Population: -History:It was founded in 1670 as the village of Korkina Sloboda. In 1721 by the order of Tsar Peter the Great the village gained the right to establish Nikolskaya Trade Fair which rapidly became one of the most important trade...

 and farther east the Irtysh
Irtysh
The Irtysh River is a river in Siberia and is the chief tributary of the Ob River. Its name means White River. Irtysh's main affluent is the Tobol River...

 at 56°N. In the eastern Baraba steppe
Baraba steppe
The Baraba steppe, also known as Barabinsk steppe, , is a grassland steppe and wooded flat plain situated in western Siberia.The steppe has an area of 117,000 km² and stretches between the Irtysh and the Ob Rivers. Barabinsk is the largest city on the steppe. The Baraba steppe also contains...

 (near Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk is the third-largest city in Russia, after Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and the largest city of Siberia, with a population of 1,473,737 . It is the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast as well as of the Siberian Federal District...

) the boundary turned steep south, encircled the Altai Mountains, and went again eastward including the Tannu-Ola Mountains
Tannu-Ola Mountains
The Tannu-Ola mountains is a mountain range in southern Siberia, in the Tuva Republic of Russia. It extends in an east-west direction and curves along the Mongolian border...

 and Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is the world's oldest at 30 million years old and deepest lake with an average depth of 744.4 metres.Located in the south of the Russian region of Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast, it is the most voluminous freshwater lake in the...

. From here the boundary went slightly north of the Amur River eastward to its lower reaches at the Sea of Okhotsk
Sea of Okhotsk
The Sea of Okhotsk is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean, lying between the Kamchatka Peninsula on the east, the Kuril Islands on the southeast, the island of Hokkaidō to the far south, the island of Sakhalin along the west, and a long stretch of eastern Siberian coast along the west and...

. On Sakhalin
Sakhalin
Sakhalin or Saghalien, is a large island in the North Pacific, lying between 45°50' and 54°24' N.It is part of Russia, and is Russia's largest island, and is administered as part of Sakhalin Oblast...

 there are only fossil
Fossil
Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals , plants, and other organisms from the remote past...

 reports of wild boar. The southern boundaries in Europe and Asia were almost everywhere identical to the sea shores of these continents. In dry deserts and high mountain ranges, the wild boar is naturally absent. So it is absent in the dry regions of Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 from 44–46°N southward, in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 westward of Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

 and in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 north of the Himalaya. In high altitudes of Pamir
Pamir
Pamir may refer to:* a pamir, a U-shaped grassy valley in the Pamir Mountains**Great Pamir, a high valley in the Wakhan on the border of Afghanistan and Tajikistan**Little Pamir, a high valley in the Wakhan, Afghanistan...

 and Tien Shan they are also absent; however, at Tarim basin
Tarim Basin
The Tarim Basin is a large endorheic basin occupying an area of about . It is located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China's far west. Its northern boundary is the Tian Shan mountain range and its southern is the Kunlun Mountains on the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. The...

 and on the lower slopes of the Tien Shan they do occur.

Present range

In recent centuries, the range of wild boar has changed dramatically, largely due to hunting by humans and more recently because of captive wild boar escaping into the wild. For many years populations dwindled. They probably became extinct in Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 in the 13th century. In Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 the last boar was shot at the beginning of the 19th century, and in 1900 they were absent in Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

 and Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 and large areas of Germany, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 and Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. In Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 they were extinct in wide areas in the 1930s.

A revival of boar populations began in the middle of the last century. By 1950 wild boar had once again reached their original northern boundary in many parts of their Asiatic range. By 1960 they reached Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 and Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, and by 1975 they were to be found in Archangelsk and Astrakhan
Astrakhan
Astrakhan is a major city in southern European Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. The city lies on the left bank of the Volga River, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea at an altitude of below the sea level. Population:...

. In the 1970s they again occurred in Denmark and Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, where captive animals escaped and now survive in the wild. (The wild boar population in Sweden was estimated to be around 80,000 in 2006 but is now considered to be in excess of 100,000). In the 1990s boar migrated into Tuscany
Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

 in Italy. In England, wild boar populations re-established themselves in the 1990s, after escaping from specialist farms that had imported European stock.

Elsewhere, in 1493, Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

 brought 8 hogs to the West Indies. Importation to the American mainland was in the mid 16th century by Hernan Cortes
Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro, 1st Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca was a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century...

 and Hernando de Soto, and in the mid 17th century by Sieur de La Salle. Pure Eurasian boar were also imported there for sport hunting in the early 20th century. Large populations of wild boar also live in Australia, New Zealand and North and South America.

Status in Britain

Between their medieval extinction and the 1980s, when wild boar farming began, only a handful of captive wild boar, imported from the continent, were present in Britain. Occasional escapes of wild boar from wildlife parks have occurred as early as the 1970s, but since the early 1990s significant populations have re-established themselves after escapes from farms; the number of which has increased as the demand for wild boar meat has grown.

A 1998 MAFF
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was a United Kingdom government department created by the Board of Agriculture Act 1889 and at that time called the Board of Agriculture, and then from 1903 the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, and from 1919 the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries...

 (now DEFRA
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is the government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the United Kingdom...

) study on wild boar living wild in Britain confirmed the presence of two populations of wild boar living in Britain; one in Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

/East Sussex
East Sussex
East Sussex is a county in South East England. It is bordered by the counties of Kent, Surrey and West Sussex, and to the south by the English Channel.-History:...

 and another in Dorset
Dorset
Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...

.

Another DEFRA report, in February 2008, confirmed the existence of these two sites as 'established breeding areas' and identified a third in Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean....

/Herefordshire
Herefordshire
Herefordshire is a historic and ceremonial county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes it is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three counties that comprise the "Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire" NUTS 2 region. It also forms a unitary district known as the...

; in the Forest of Dean
Forest of Dean
The Forest of Dean is a geographical, historical and cultural region in the western part of the county of Gloucestershire, England. The forest is a roughly triangular plateau bounded by the River Wye to the west and north, the River Severn to the south, and the City of Gloucester to the east.The...

/Ross on Wye area. A 'new breeding population' was also identified in Devon
Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

.

Populations estimates were;
  • The largest population, in Kent/East Sussex, was estimated at approximately 200 animals in the core distribution area.
  • The second largest, in Gloucestershire/Herefordshire, was estimated to be in excess of 100 animals.
  • The smallest, in west Dorset, was estimated to be fewer than 50 animals.
  • Since winter 2005/6 significant escapes/releases have also resulted in animals colonising areas around the fringes of Dartmoor
    Dartmoor
    Dartmoor is an area of moorland in south Devon, England. Protected by National Park status, it covers .The granite upland dates from the Carboniferous period of geological history. The moorland is capped with many exposed granite hilltops known as tors, providing habitats for Dartmoor wildlife. The...

    , in Devon
    Devon
    Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

    . These are considered as an additional single 'new breeding population' and currently estimated to be up to 100 animals.


Population estimates for the Forest of Dean are disputed. In early 2010 the Forestry Commission embarked on a cull, with the aim of reducing the boar population from an estimated 150 animals to 100. By August is was stated that efforts were being made to reduce the population from 200 to 90, but that only 25 had been killed. The failure to meet cull targets was confirmed in February 2011.

There have also been reports of wild boar having crossed the River Wye
River Wye
The River Wye is the fifth-longest river in the UK and for parts of its length forms part of the border between England and Wales. It is important for nature conservation and recreation.-Description:...

 into Monmouthshire
Monmouthshire
Monmouthshire is a county in south east Wales. The name derives from the historic county of Monmouthshire which covered a much larger area. The largest town is Abergavenny. There are many castles in Monmouthshire .-Historic county:...

, Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

. Many other sightings, across the UK, have also been reported. The effects of wild boar on the UK's woodlands were discussed with Ralph Harmer of the Forestry Commission
Forestry Commission
The Forestry Commission is a non-ministerial government department responsible for forestry in Great Britain. Its mission is to protect and expand Britain's forests and woodlands and increase their value to society and the environment....

 on the 's Farming Today
Farming Today
-Transmission:It is broadcast each week day between 5.45 and 6.00 a.m. and a longer programme is broadcast on Saturdays from 06.35 – 7.00 a.m. Around one million people listen to the programme...

radio programme in 2011. The programme prompted activist writer George Monbiot
George Monbiot
George Joshua Richard Monbiot is an English writer, known for his environmental and political activism. He lives in Machynlleth, Wales, writes a weekly column for The Guardian, and is the author of a number of books, including Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain and Bring on the...

 to propose a thorough population study, followed by the introduction of permit-controlled culling
Culling
Culling is the process of removing animals from a group based on specific criteria. This is done either to reinforce certain desirable characteristics or to remove certain undesirable characteristics from the group...

. The revenue could be used to compensate farmers for crop damage caused by boar.

Wild boar farming in the UK

Captive wild boar in Britain are kept in private or public wildlife collections and in zoos, but exist predominantly on farms. Because wild boar are included in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
The Dangerous Wild Animals Act of 1976 is a law of the United Kingdom that was originally enacted to deal with the increasing fashion in the late 1960s and early 1970s of people keeping interesting pets which were often from the more dangerous species, as well as hybrids between wild and domestic...

, certain legal requirements have to be met prior to setting up a farm. A licence to keep boar is required from the local council, who will appoint a specialist to inspect the premises and report back to the council. Requirements include secure accommodation and fencing, correct drainage, temperature, lighting, hygiene, ventilation and insurance.

The original U.K. wild boar farm stock was mainly of French origin, but from 1987 onwards, farmers have supplemented the original stock with animals of both west European and east European origin. The east European animals were imported from farm stock in Sweden because Sweden, unlike eastern Europe, has a similar health status for pigs to that of Britain. Currently there is no central register listing all the wild boar farms in the UK; the total number of wild boar farms is unknown.

Status in Germany

Recently, Germany has reported a surge in the wild boar population. According to one study, "German wild boar litters have six to eight piglets on average, other countries usually only about four or five." Boar in Germany are also said to be becoming increasingly 'brazen' and intruding further into cities such as Berlin.

Subspecies

Different subspecies can usually be distinguished by the relative lengths and shapes of their lacrimal bone
Lacrimal bone
The lacrimal bone, the smallest and most fragile bone of the face, is situated at the front part of the medial wall of the orbit. It has two surfaces and four borders.-Lateral or orbital surface:...

s. S. scrofa cristatus and S. scrofa vittatus have shorter lacrimal bones than European subspecies. Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and French boar specimens have 36 chromosome
Chromosome
A chromosome is an organized structure of DNA and protein found in cells. It is a single piece of coiled DNA containing many genes, regulatory elements and other nucleotide sequences. Chromosomes also contain DNA-bound proteins, which serve to package the DNA and control its functions.Chromosomes...

s, as opposed to wild boar in the rest of Europe which possess 38, the same number as domestic pigs. Boars with 36 chromosomes have successfully mated with animals possessing 38, resulting in fertile offspring with 37 chromosomes.

Four subspecies groups are generally recognized:

Western races (scrofa group)

  • Common Wild Boar Sus scrofa scrofa: The most common and most widespread subspecies, its original distribution ranges from France to European Russia
    European Russia
    European Russia refers to the western areas of Russia that lie within Europe, comprising roughly 3,960,000 square kilometres , larger in area than India, and spanning across 40% of Europe. Its eastern border is defined by the Ural Mountains and in the south it is defined by the border with...

    . It has been introduced
    Introduced species
    An introduced species — or neozoon, alien, exotic, non-indigenous, or non-native species, or simply an introduction, is a species living outside its indigenous or native distributional range, and has arrived in an ecosystem or plant community by human activity, either deliberate or accidental...

     in Sweden, Norway, the USA and Canada.
  • Iberian Wild Boar Sus scrofa baeticus: A small subspecies present in the southwestern Iberian Peninsula
    Iberian Peninsula
    The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

    . Probably a junior synonym
    Synonym (taxonomy)
    In scientific nomenclature, a synonym is a scientific name that is or was used for a taxon of organisms that also goes by a different scientific name. For example, Linnaeus was the first to give a scientific name to the Norway spruce, which he called Pinus abies...

     of S. s. meridionalis.
  • Castillian Wild Boar Sus scrofa castilianus: Larger than S. s. baeticus, it inhabits northern Spain. Probably a junior synonym of S. s. scrofa.
  • Sardinian Wild Boar Sus scrofa meridionalis: A small, almost maneless subspecies from Corsica
    Corsica
    Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of Italy, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the island of Sardinia....

    , Sardinia
    Sardinia
    Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

     and Andalusia
    Andalusia
    Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

    . Possibly extinct now in its island range.
  • Italian Wild Boar Sus scrofa majori: A subspecies smaller than S. s. scrofa with a higher and wider skull. It occurs in central and southern Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

    . Since the 1950s, it has hybridized extensively with introduced S. s. scrofa populations.
  • Sus scrofa attila: A very large, long-maned, yellowish subspecies from eastern Europe to Kazakhstan
    Kazakhstan
    Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

    , northern Caucasus
    Caucasus
    The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

     and Iran
    Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

    .
  • Barbary Wild Boar Sus scrofa algira: Maghreb
    Maghreb
    The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...

     in Africa
    Africa
    Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

    . Closely related to, and sometimes considered a junior synonym of, S. s. scrofa, but smaller and with proportionally longer tusks. Now quite rare.
  • Sus scrofa lybica: A small, pale and almost maneless subspecies from Caucasus to the Nile Delta
    Nile Delta
    The Nile Delta is the delta formed in Northern Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world's largest river deltas—from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers some 240 km of Mediterranean coastline—and is a rich...

    , Turkey
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

     and the Balkans
    Balkans
    The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

    . Possibly extinct now.
  • Sus scrofa sennaarensis: From Egypt
    Egypt
    Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

     and northern Sudan
    Sudan
    Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

    . Former presence in these countries, where became extinct around 1900, is linked to ancient introductions by man, and S. s. sennaarensis is probably a junior synonym of S. s. scrofa. "Wild boars" now present in Sudan are derived from domestic pigs.
  • Sus scrofa nigripes: A light-coloured subspecies with dark legs from Tianshan Mountains, Central Asia
    Central Asia
    Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

    .

Indian races (cristatus group)

  • Indian Wild Boar Sus scrofa cristatus: A long-maned subspecies with a coat that is brindled black unlike S. s. davidi. More lightly built than European boar. Its head is larger and more pointed than that of the European boar, and its ears smaller and more pointed. The plane of the forehead straight, while it is concave in the European. Occurs from the Himalayas
    Himalayas
    The Himalaya Range or Himalaya Mountains Sanskrit: Devanagari: हिमालय, literally "abode of snow"), usually called the Himalayas or Himalaya for short, is a mountain range in Asia, separating the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau...

     south to central India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     and east to Indochina
    Indochina
    The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

     (north of the Kra Isthmus
    Kra Isthmus
    The Kra Isthmus is the narrow land bridge which connects the Malay Peninsula with the mainland of Asia, and popularly named "The Devil's Neck".-Geography:...

    ).
  • Sus scrofa affinis: This subspecies is smaller than S. s. cristatus and found in southern India and Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

    . Validity
    Synonym (taxonomy)
    In scientific nomenclature, a synonym is a scientific name that is or was used for a taxon of organisms that also goes by a different scientific name. For example, Linnaeus was the first to give a scientific name to the Norway spruce, which he called Pinus abies...

     questionable.
  • Sus scrofa davidi: A small, long-maned and light brown subspecies from eastern Iran
    Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

     to Gujarat; perhaps north to Tajikistan
    Tajikistan
    Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

    .

Eastern races (leucomystax group)

  • Manchurian Wild Boar Sus scrofa ussuricus: A very large (largest subspecies of the wild boar), almost maneless subspecies with a thick coat that is blackish in the summer and yellowish-grey in the winter. From Manchuria
    Manchuria
    Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

     and Korea
    Korea
    Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

    .
  • Japanese Wild Boar Sus scrofa leucomystax: A small, almost maneless, yellowish-brown subspecies from Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

     (except Hokkaido
    Hokkaido
    , formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...

     where the wild boar is not naturally present, and the Ryuku Islands where replaced by S. s. riukiuanus).
  • Ryuku Wild Boar Sus scrofa riukiuanus: A small subspecies from the Ryuku Islands.
  • Formosan Wild Boar Sus scrofa taivanus: A small blackish subspecies from Taiwan
    Taiwan
    Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

    .
  • Sus scrofa moupinensis: A relatively small and short-maned subspecies from most of China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

     and Vietnam
    Vietnam
    Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

    . There are significant variations within this subspecies, and it is possible there actually are several subspecies involved. On the contrary, recent evidence suggests the virtually unknown Heude's pig may be identical to (and consequently a synonym
    Synonym (taxonomy)
    In scientific nomenclature, a synonym is a scientific name that is or was used for a taxon of organisms that also goes by a different scientific name. For example, Linnaeus was the first to give a scientific name to the Norway spruce, which he called Pinus abies...

     of) wild boars from this region.
  • Siberian Wild Boar Sus scrofa sibiricus: A relatively small subspecies from Mongolia
    Mongolia
    Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

     and Transbaikalia.

Sundaic race (vittatus group)

  • Banded pig
    Banded pig
    The Banded Pig , also known by various other names including Malay Pig and Island Pig, is a subspecies of the wild boar found in the Thai-Malay Peninsula and many Indonesian islands, including Sumatra, Java, and the Lesser Sundas as far east as Komodo. There are also feral populations in the...

     Sus scrofa vittatus: A small, short-faced and sparsely furred subspecies with a white band on the muzzle. From Peninsular Malaysia
    Peninsular Malaysia
    Peninsular Malaysia , also known as West Malaysia , is the part of Malaysia which lies on the Malay Peninsula. Its area is . It shares a land border with Thailand in the north. To the south is the island of Singapore. Across the Strait of Malacca to the west lies the island of Sumatra...

    , and in Indonesia
    Indonesia
    Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

     from Sumatra
    Sumatra
    Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

     and Java
    Java
    Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

     east to Komodo
    Komodo (island)
    Komodo is one of the 17,508 islands that make up the Republic of Indonesia. The island has a surface area of 390 km² and over 2000 inhabitants. The inhabitants of the island are descendants of former convicts who were exiled to the island and who have mixed themselves with the Bugis from...

    . Might be a separate species, and shows some similarities with some other species of wild pigs in south-east Asia.

Domestic pig

The domestic pig
Domestic pig
The domestic pig is a domesticated animal that traces its ancestry to the wild boar, and is considered a subspecies of the wild boar or a distinct species in its own right. It is likely the wild boar was domesticated as early as 13,000 BC in the Tigris River basin...

 is usually regarded as a further subspecies; Sus scrofa domestica – although sometimes classified as a separate species; Sus domestica.

Natural predators

Wild boar are a main food source for tiger
Tiger
The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to and weighing up to . Their most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with lighter underparts...

s in the regions where they coexist. Tigers typically follow boar groups, and pick them off one by one. Tigers have been noted to chase boars for longer distances than with other prey, though they will usually avoid tackling mature male boars. In many cases, boars have gored tigers to death in self defense.

Wolves are also major predators of boars in some areas. Wolves mostly feed on piglets, though adults have been recorded to be taken in Italy, the Iberian Peninsula, and Russia. Wolves rarely attack boars head on, preferring to tear at their perineum
Perineum
In human anatomy, the perineum is a region of the body including the perineal body and surrounding structures...

, causing loss of coordination and massive blood loss. In some areas of the former Soviet Union, a single wolf pack can consume an average of 50–80 wild boars annually. In areas of Italy where the two animals are sympatric, the extent to which boars are preyed upon by wolves has led to them developing more aggressive behaviour toward both wolves and domestic dogs.

Striped hyena
Striped Hyena
The Striped Hyena is a species of true hyena native to North and East Africa, the Caucasus, the Middle East, Middle and Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent...

s occasionally feed on boars, though it has been suggested that only hyenas from the three larger subspecies present in Northwest Africa, the Middle East, and India can successfully kill them.

Young piglets are important prey for several species, including large snakes, such as the reticulated python
Reticulated Python
Python reticulatus, also known as the reticulated python is a species of python found in Southeast Asia. Adults can grow to over 8.7 m in length but normally grow to an average of 3-6 m . They are the world's longest snakes and longest reptile, but are not the most heavily built...

, large birds of prey, and various wild felids. In Australia many piglets are killed by dingos. Adults, due to their size, strength, and defensive aggression, are generally avoided as prey. However, they have been taken additionally by mature leopard
Leopard
The leopard , Panthera pardus, is a member of the Felidae family and the smallest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera, the other three being the tiger, lion, and jaguar. The leopard was once distributed across eastern and southern Asia and Africa, from Siberia to South Africa, but its...

s; large bears (mainly brown bear
Brown Bear
The brown bear is a large bear distributed across much of northern Eurasia and North America. It can weigh from and its largest subspecies, the Kodiak Bear, rivals the polar bear as the largest member of the bear family and as the largest land-based predator.There are several recognized...

s); and mature crocodile
Crocodile
A crocodile is any species belonging to the family Crocodylidae . The term can also be used more loosely to include all extant members of the order Crocodilia: i.e...

s. All predators of boars are opportunistic and would take piglets given the opportunity. Where introduced outside of their natural range, boars may be at the top of the food chain, but are also sometimes taken by predators similar to those in their native Eurasia. Introduced wild boars in North America have predators such as the Grizzly bear
Grizzly Bear
The grizzly bear , also known as the silvertip bear, the grizzly, or the North American brown bear, is a subspecies of brown bear that generally lives in the uplands of western North America...

, American black bear
American black bear
The American black bear is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most common bear species. Black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location. They typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in...

, Gray wolf
Gray Wolf
The gray wolf , also known as the wolf, is the largest extant wild member of the Canidae family...

, Red wolf
Red Wolf
The red wolf is a North American canid which once roamed throughout the Southeastern United States and is a glacial period survivor of the Late Pleistocene epoch...

, coyote
Coyote
The coyote , also known as the American jackal or the prairie wolf, is a species of canine found throughout North and Central America, ranging from Panama in the south, north through Mexico, the United States and Canada...

, and cougars
Cougars
Cougars is a Chicago-based rock band signed to the New York-based label Go-Kart Records.The Cougars' music is often compared to that of Rocket from the Crypt...

.

Commercial use

The hair of the boar was often used for the production of the toothbrush
Toothbrush
The toothbrush is an oral hygiene instrument used to clean the teeth and gums that consists of a head of tightly clustered bristles mounted on a handle, which facilitates the cleansing of hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. Toothpaste, which often contains fluoride, is commonly used in conjunction...

 until the invention of synthetic materials in the 1930s. The hair for the bristles usually came from the neck area of the boar. While such brushes were popular because the bristles were soft, this was not the best material for oral hygiene
Oral hygiene
Teeth cleaning is part of oral hygiene and involves the removal of dental plaque from teeth with the intention of preventing cavities , gingivitis, and periodontal disease. People routinely clean their own teeth by brushing and interdental cleaning, and dental hygienists can remove hardened...

 as the hairs were slow to dry and usually retained bacteria. Today's toothbrushes are made with plastic bristles.

Boar hair is used in the manufacture of boar-bristle hairbrushes, which are considered to be gentler on hair—and much more expensive—than common plastic-bristle hairbrushes. However, among shaving brushes, which are almost exclusively made with animal fibres, the cheaper models use boar bristles, while badger hair is used in much more expensive models.

Boar hair is used in the manufacture of paintbrushes, especially those used for oil painting. Boar bristle paintbrushes are stiff enough to spread thick paint well, and the naturally split or "flagged" tip of the untrimmed bristle helps hold more paint.

Despite claims that boar bristles have been used in the manufacture of premium dart boards for use with steel-tipped darts, these boards are, in fact, made of other materials and fibres—the finest ones from sisal
Sisal
Sisal is an agave that yields a stiff fibre traditionally used in making twine, rope and also dartboards. The term may refer either to the plant or the fibre, depending on context...

 rope.

In many countries, boar are farmed for their meat, and in countries such as France and Italy, for example, boar (sanglier in French, "cinghiale" in Italian) may often be found for sale in butcher shops or offered in restaurants (although the consumption of wild boar meat has been linked to transmission of Hepatitis E
Hepatitis E
Hepatitis E is a viral hepatitis caused by infection with a virus called hepatitis E virus . HEV is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA icosahedral virus with a 7.5 kilobase genome. HEV has a fecal-oral transmission route. It is one of five known hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D, and E...

 in Japan). In Germany, boar meat ranks among the highest priced types of meat and is as much part of high standard cuisine as venison
Venison
Venison is the meat of a game animal, especially a deer but also other animals such as antelope, wild boar, etc.-Etymology:The word derives from the Latin vēnor...

. In certain countries, such as Laos and parts of China, boar meat is considered an aphrodisiac.

Mythology, religion, history and fiction

In Celtic mythology
Celtic mythology
Celtic mythology is the mythology of Celtic polytheism, apparently the religion of the Iron Age Celts. Like other Iron Age Europeans, the early Celts maintained a polytheistic mythology and religious structure...

 the boar was sacred to the Gallic goddess Arduinna
Arduinna
In Celtic mythology, Arduinna was the eponymous goddess of the Ardennes Forest and region, represented as a huntress riding a boar . Her cult originated in what is today known as Ardennes, a region of Belgium, Luxembourg and France...

, and boar hunting features in several stories of Celtic and Irish mythology
Irish mythology
The mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did not entirely survive the conversion to Christianity, but much of it was preserved, shorn of its religious meanings, in medieval Irish literature, which represents the most extensive and best preserved of all the branch and the Historical Cycle. There are...

. One such story is that of how Fionn mac Cumhaill
Fionn mac Cumhaill
Fionn mac Cumhaill , known in English as Finn McCool, was a mythical hunter-warrior of Irish mythology, occurring also in the mythologies of Scotland and the Isle of Man...

 ("Finn McCool") lured his rival Diarmuid Ua Duibhne
Diarmuid Ua Duibhne
Diarmuid Ua Duibhne or Diarmid O'Dyna is a son of Donn and a warrior of the Fianna in the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology. He is most famous as the lover of Gráinne, the intended wife of Fianna leader Fionn mac Cumhaill in The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne...

 to his death—gored by a wild boar.

In the Asterix
Asterix
Asterix or The Adventures of Asterix is a series of French comic books written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo . The series first appeared in French in the magazine Pilote on October 29, 1959...

comic series set in Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

, wild boar are the favourite food of Obelix
Obelix
Obelix is a fictional character from the French comic book series Asterix. He works as a menhir sculptor and deliveryman, and is Asterix's best friend. Obelix is noted for his fatness, the menhirs he carries around on his back and his superhuman strength...

 whose immense appetite means that he can eat several roasted boar in a single sitting.

Gullinbursti
Gullinbursti
Gullinbursti is a boar in Norse mythology.When Loki had Sif's hair, Freyr's ship Skíðblaðnir and Odin's spear Gungnir fashioned by the Sons of Ivaldi, he bet his own head with Brokkr that his brother Eitri wouldn't have been able to make items to match the quality of those mentioned above.So to...

 (meaning "Gold Mane or Golden Bristles") is a boar in Norse mythology.

In Hindu mythology
Hindu mythology
Hindu religious literature is the large body of traditional narratives related to Hinduism, notably as contained in Sanskrit literature, such as the Sanskrit epics and the Puranas. As such, it is a subset of Nepali and Indian culture...

, the third Avatar
Avatar
In Hinduism, an avatar is a deliberate descent of a deity to earth, or a descent of the Supreme Being and is mostly translated into English as "incarnation," but more accurately as "appearance" or "manifestation"....

 of the Lord Vishnu was Varaha
Varaha
Varaha is the third Avatar of the Hindu Godhead Vishnu, in the form of a Boar. He appeared in order to defeat Hiranyaksha, a demon who had taken the Earth and carried it to the bottom of what is described as the cosmic ocean in the story. The battle between Varaha and Hiranyaksha is believed to...

, a boar.

At least three Roman Legion
Roman legion
A Roman legion normally indicates the basic ancient Roman army unit recruited specifically from Roman citizens. The organization of legions varied greatly over time but they were typically composed of perhaps 5,000 soldiers, divided into maniples and later into "cohorts"...

s are known to have had a boar as their emblems: Legio I Italica
Legio I Italica
Legio prima Italica was a Roman legion levied by emperor Nero on September 22, 66 . There are still records of the I Italica in the Danube border in the beginning of the 5th century...

, Legio X Fretensis
Legio X Fretensis
Legio X Fretensis was a Roman legion levied by Augustus Caesar in 41/40 BC to fight during the period of civil war that started the dissolution of the Roman Republic...

 and Legio XX Valeria Victrix
Legio XX Valeria Victrix
Legio vigesima Valeria Victrix was a Roman legion, probably raised by Augustus some time after 31 BC. It served in Hispania, Illyricum, and Germania before participating in the invasion of Britannia in 43 AD, where it remained and was active until at least the beginning of the 4th century...

.

A boar is a long-standing symbol of the city of Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. In Andrea Alciato
Andrea Alciato
Andrea Alciato , commonly known as Alciati , was an Italian jurist and writer. He is regarded as the founder of the French school of legal humanists.-Biography:...

's Emblemata (1584), beneath a woodcut of the first raising of Milan's city walls, a boar is seen lifted from the excavation. The foundation of Milan is credited to two Celtic peoples, the Bituriges
Bituriges
The Bituriges was a tribe with its capital at Bourges .Early in the 1st century BCE, they had been one of the main tribes, especially in terms of Druids and their political influence. But they soon declined in power as the Druids were an important target for Julius Caesar in his conquest of Gaul...

 and the Aedui
Aedui
Aedui, Haedui or Hedui , were a Gallic people of Gallia Lugdunensis, who inhabited the country between the Arar and Liger , in today's France. Their territory thus included the greater part of the modern departments of Saône-et-Loire, Côte-d'Or and Nièvre.-Geography:The country of the Aedui is...

, having as their emblem
Emblem
An emblem is a pictorial image, abstract or representational, that epitomizes a concept — e.g., a moral truth, or an allegory — or that represents a person, such as a king or saint.-Distinction: emblem and symbol:...

s a ram and a boar respectively (Bituricis vervex, Heduis dat sucula signum.); therefore "The city's symbol is a wool-bearing boar, an animal of double form, here with sharp bristles, there with sleek wool," (Laniger huic signum sus est, animálque biforme, Acribus hinc setis, lanitio inde levi). Alciato credits the most saintly and learned Ambrose
Ambrose
Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose , was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was one of the four original doctors of the Church.-Political career:Ambrose was born into a Roman Christian family between about...

 for his account.

In Medieval hunting
Medieval hunting
Throughout Western Europe in the Middle Ages, men hunted wild animals. While game was at times an important source of food, it was rarely the principal source of nutrition. Hunting was engaged by all classes, but by the High Middle Ages, the necessity of hunting was transformed into a stylized...

 the boar, like the hart
Hart (deer)
The word hart is an old alternative word for "stag" ....

, was a 'beast of venery', the most prestigious form of quarry. It was normally hunted by being harboured, or found by a 'limer
Limer
A limer, or lymer , was a kind of dog, a scenthound, used on a leash in Medieval times to find large game before it was hunted down by the pack. It was sometimes known as a lyam hound/dog or lime-hound. The name derives from the word lyam meaning 'leash'. The French cognate limier has sometimes...

', or bloodhound
Bloodhound
The Bloodhound is a large breed of dog which, while originally bred to hunt deer and wild boar, was later bred specifically to track human beings. It is a scenthound, tracking by smell, as opposed to a sighthound, which tracks using vision. It is famed for its ability to discern human odors even...

 handled on a leash, before the pack of hounds were released to pursue it on its hot scent. In The poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight a boar hunt is described, which depicts how dangerous the boar could be to the pack hounds, or rache
Rache
Rache , also spelt 'racch', 'rach', and 'ratch', from Old English 'ræcc', linked to Old Norse 'rakkí', is an obsolete name for a type of hunting-dog used in Britain in the Middle Ages. It was a scent hound used in a pack to run down and kill game, or bring it to bay. The word appears before the...

s, which hunted it.

A story from Nevers
Nevers
Nevers is a commune in – and the administrative capital of – the Nièvre department in the Bourgogne region in central France...

, which is reproduced in the Golden Legend
Golden Legend
The Golden Legend is a collection of hagiographies by Jacobus de Voragine that became a late medieval bestseller. More than a thousand manuscripts of the text have survived, compared to twenty or so of its nearest rivals...

,
states that one night Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

 dreamed he was about to be killed by a wild boar during a hunt
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

, but was saved by the appearance of a child, who had promised to save the emperor if he would give him clothes to cover his nakedness. The bishop of Nevers interpreted this dream to mean that the child was Saint Cyricus and that he wanted the emperor to repair the roof of the Cathédrale Saint-Cyr-et-Sainte-Julitte de Nevers
Cathédrale Saint-Cyr-et-Sainte-Julitte de Nevers
Nevers Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral, dedicated to Saints Cyricus and Julitta, and a national monument of France, located in the town of Nevers. It is the seat of the Bishop of Nevers....

 – which Charlemagne duly did.

The ancient Lowland
Scottish Lowlands
The Scottish Lowlands is a name given to the Southern half of Scotland.The area is called a' Ghalldachd in Scottish Gaelic, and the Lawlands ....

 Scottish Clan Swinton
Clan Swinton
Clan Swinton is a Lowland Scottish clan and founder of Clan Gordon, Clan Elphinstone, Clan Arbuthnott, Clan Nisbet and the Greystoke Family. Being a Border family, they were prominent Border Reivers.-Origins:...

 is said to have to have acquired the name Swinton for their bravery and clearing their area of Wild Boar. The chief's coat of arms and the clan crest allude to this legend, as is the name of the village of Swinewood in the county of Berwick which was granted to them in the 11th century.

Richard III
Richard III of England
Richard III was King of England for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485 during the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty...

 (r. 1483–1485) used the white boar
White boar
The White Boar was the personal device or badge of the English King Richard III of England , and is an early instance of the use of boars in heraldry....

 as his personal device and badge. It was also passed to his short-lived son, Edward.

Folklore, in the Forest of Dean, England, tells of a giant boar, known as the Beast of Dean
Beast of Dean
The Beast of Dean, also given the colloquial name Moose-Pig, is a cryptid that is reported to live, or to have once lived, in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England. It is said to resemble a wild boar , but abnormally large in size...

, which terrorised villagers in the early 19th century.

Heraldry and other symbolic use

The wild boar and a boar's head are common charges
Charge (heraldry)
In heraldry, a charge is any emblem or device occupying the field of an escutcheon . This may be a geometric design or a symbolic representation of a person, animal, plant, object or other device...

 in heraldry
Heraldry
Heraldry is the profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol, as exercised by an officer of arms. Heraldry comes from Anglo-Norman herald, from the Germanic compound harja-waldaz, "army commander"...

. It represents what are often seen as the positive qualities of the boar, namely courage and fierceness in battle. The arms of the Campbell of Possil family (see Carter-Campbell of Possil) include the head, erect and erased of a wild boar, as does the crest Mackinnon clan
Clan MacKinnon
Clan Mackinnon or Clan Fingon is a Highland Scottish clan associated with the islands of Mull and Skye, in the Inner Hebrides.Popular tradition gives the clan a Dalriadic Gaelic origin. The 19th century historian W. F. Skene named the clan as one of the seven clans of Siol Alpin - who according to...

. The arms of the Swinton Family
Clan Swinton
Clan Swinton is a Lowland Scottish clan and founder of Clan Gordon, Clan Elphinstone, Clan Arbuthnott, Clan Nisbet and the Greystoke Family. Being a Border family, they were prominent Border Reivers.-Origins:...

 also possess wild boar, as does the coat of arms of the Purcell family.

Feral pigs

Domestic pigs can escape and quite readily become feral
Feral
A feral organism is one that has changed from being domesticated to being wild or untamed. In the case of plants it is a movement from cultivated to uncultivated or controlled to volunteer. The introduction of feral animals or plants to their non-native regions, like any introduced species, may...

, and feral populations are problematic in several ways. They cause damage to trees and other vegetation, consume agricultural crops, feed on the eggs of ground-nesting birds and turtles, and can carry disease. Feral pigs often interbreed with wild boar, producing descendants similar in appearance to wild boar; these can then be difficult to distinguish from natural or introduced true wild boar. The characterization of populations as feral pig, escaped domestic pig or wild boar is usually decided by where the animals are encountered and what is known of their history. In New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, for example, feral pigs are known as "Captain Cookers" from their supposed descent from liberations and gifts to Māori by explorer Captain James Cook
James Cook
Captain James Cook, FRS, RN was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer who ultimately rose to the rank of captain in the Royal Navy...

 in the 1770s. New Zealand feral pigs are also frequently known as "tuskers", due to their appearance.

One characteristic by which domestic and feral animals are differentiated is their coats. Feral animals almost always have thick, bristly coats ranging in colour from brown through grey to black. A prominent ridge of hair matching the spine is also common, giving rise to the name razorback
Razorback
Razorback is an Americanism, loosely applied to any type of feral pig or wild boar in North America. The term has also appeared in Australia, to describe said animals in that country.-Introduction to the Americas:...

in the southern United States
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

, where they are common. The tail is usually long and straight. Feral animals tend also to have longer legs than domestic breeds and a longer and narrower head and snout.
A very large swine dubbed Hogzilla
Hogzilla
Hogzilla is the name given to a male hybrid of wild hog and domestic pig that was shot and killed in Alapaha, Georgia, United States, on June 17, 2004 by Dr. Eliahu Katz on Ken Holyoak's fish farm and hunting reserve. It was alleged to be long and weighed over . It was originally considered a...

 was shot in Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, United States, in June 2004. Initially thought to be a hoax
Hoax
A hoax is a deliberately fabricated falsehood made to masquerade as truth. It is distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment, or rumors, urban legends, pseudosciences or April Fools' Day events that are passed along in good faith by believers or as jokes.-Definition:The British...

, the story became something of an internet sensation. National Geographic Explorer
National Geographic Explorer
National Geographic Explorer is an American documentary television series that originally premiered on Nickelodeon on April 7, 1985, after having been produced as a less costly and intensive alternative to PBS's National Geographic Specials by Pittsburgh station WQED...

investigated the story, sending scientists into the field. After exhuming the animal and performing DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 testing, it was determined that Hogzilla was a hybrid of wild boar and domestic swine. , the estimated population of 4 million feral pigs caused an estimated US$800 million of property damage a year in the U.S. The problematic nature of feral hogs has caused several states in the U.S. to declare feral hogs to be an invasive species. Often, these states will have greatly-reduced (or even non-existent) hunting regulations regarding feral hogs. In Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

, no hunting permit is required for the taking of wild boar; hunters may take as many as they like with any weapon. The Missouri Department of Conservation
Missouri Department of Conservation
The Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Conservation Commission were created by Article IV Sections 40-42 of the Missouri Constitution, which were adopted by the voters of the state in 1936 as Amendment 4 to the constitution...

 requests that hunters who encounter feral hogs shoot them on sight.

At the beginning of the 20th century, wild boar were introduced for hunting in the United States, where they interbred in parts with free roaming domestic pig
Domestic pig
The domestic pig is a domesticated animal that traces its ancestry to the wild boar, and is considered a subspecies of the wild boar or a distinct species in its own right. It is likely the wild boar was domesticated as early as 13,000 BC in the Tigris River basin...

s. In South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and other islands, wild boar have also been introduced by humans and have partially interbred with domestic pigs.

In South America, also during the early 20th century, free-ranging boars were introduced in Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 for hunting purposes and eventually crossed the border into Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 sometime during the 1990s, quickly becoming an invasive species
Invasive species
"Invasive species", or invasive exotics, is a nomenclature term and categorization phrase used for flora and fauna, and for specific restoration-preservation processes in native habitats, with several definitions....

, licensed private hunting of both feral boars and hybrids (javaporcos) being allowed from August 2005 on in the Southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul is the southernmost state in Brazil, and the state with the fifth highest Human Development Index in the country. In this state is located the southernmost city in the country, Chuí, on the border with Uruguay. In the region of Bento Gonçalves and Caxias do Sul, the largest wine...

, although their presence as a pest had been already noticed by the press as early as 1994. Releases and escapes from unlicensed farms (established because of increased demand for boar meat as an alternative to pork
Pork
Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig , which is eaten in many countries. It is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC....

), however, continued to bolster feral populations and by mid-2008 licensed hunts had to be expanded to the states of Santa Catarina
Santa Catarina (state)
Santa Catarina is a state in southern Brazil with one of the highest standards of living in Latin America. Its capital is Florianópolis, which mostly lies on the Santa Catarina Island. Neighbouring states are Rio Grande do Sul to the south and Paraná to the north. It is bounded on the east by...

 and São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

. Such licensed hunts were, however, forbidden in 2010 by IBAMA
Ibama
Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources is the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment's enforcement agency...

, which argued the necessity of additional studies for devising a strategy of pest control for boars. Meanwhile, boars and boar crosses were spotted in the State of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro (state)
Rio de Janeiro is one of the 27 states of Brazil.Rio de Janeiro has the second largest economy of Brazil behind only São Paulo state.The state of Rio de Janeiro is located within the Brazilian geopolitical region classified as the Southeast...

, where cases of crop raiding were reported in the municipality of Porciuncula
Porciúncula
Porciúncula is a municipality located in the northernmost point of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. Its population was 18,227 and its area is 302.201km²....

. There's also the danger of an escape from an unlicensed farm in Nova Friburgo
Nova Friburgo
Nova Friburgo is a municipality in the state of Rio de Janeiro in southeastern Brazil. It is located in the northern mountainous region of the state, 136 km from its capital Rio de Janeiro...

. In October 2010, a rural worker was killed by a boar in Ibiá
Ibiá
Ibiá is a Brazilian municipality located in the west of the state of Minas Gerais. Its population as of 2007 was estimated to be 22,069 people living in a total area of 2,707 km². The city belongs to the mesoregion of Triângulo Mineiro and Alto Paranaíba and to the micro-region of Araxá...

, in the State of Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

.

Recently established Brazilian boar populations are not to be confused with long established populations of feral domestic pigs (porcos monteiros), which have existed mainly in the Pantanal
Pantanal
The Pantanal is a tropical wetland and one of the world's largest wetland of any kind. Most of it lies within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, but it extends into Mato Grosso and portions of Bolivia and Paraguay, sprawling over an area estimated at between and...

 for more than a hundred years, along with native peccaries. The demographic dynamics of the interaction between feral pigs populations and those of the two native species of peccaries (Collared Peccary
Collared Peccary
The collared peccary is a species of mammal in the family Tayassuidae that is found in North, Central, and South America. They are commonly referred to as javelina, saíno or báquiro, although these terms are also used to describe other species in the family...

 and White-lipped Peccary
White-lipped Peccary
The White-lipped Peccary, Tayassu pecari, is a peccary species found in Central and South America, living in rainforest, dry forest and chaco scrub. It is monotypic within the genus Tayassu....

) is obscure and is being studied presently. It has been proposed that the existence of feral pigs could somewhat ease jaguar
Jaguar
The jaguar is a big cat, a feline in the Panthera genus, and is the only Panthera species found in the Americas. The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. The jaguar's present range extends from Southern United States and Mexico...

 predation on peccary populations, as jaguars would show a preference for hunting pigs, when these are available.

Feral hogs can rapidly increase their population. Sows can have up to 10 offspring per litter, and are able to have two litters per year. Each piglet reaches sexual maturity at 6 months of age. They have virtually no natural predators.

See also

  • Javelina
  • Boar hunting
    Boar hunting
    Boar hunting is generally the practice of hunting wild boars, but can also extend to feral pigs and peccaries. A full-sized boar is a large animal armed with sharp tusks which it uses to defend itself. Boar hunting has often been a test of bravery....

  • List of pigs
  • Boar's Head Carol
    Boar's Head Carol
    The Boar's Head Carol is a macaronic 15th century English Christmas carol that describes the ancient tradition of sacrificing a boar and presenting its head at a Yuletide feast...


External links

  • BBC profile
  • Species Profile- Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), National Invasive Species Information Center, United States National Agricultural Library
    United States National Agricultural Library
    The United States National Agricultural Library is one of the world's largest agricultural research libraries, and serves as a National Library of the United States and as the library of the United States Department of Agriculture...

    . Lists general information and resources for Wild Boar.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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