There are an estimated 1,000 boar living in the wild in the UK, which makes them a rarity. And these hardy creatures are so shy that wildlife photographers have had difficulty in capturing them on film.
Boar lived wild in Britain until the thirteenth century. Subsequently, there were a number of reintroductions from Continental herds by royalty and aristocracy for the purposes of hunting. All of these animals died out or were killed during the seventeenth century and, for 300 years, there were no boars living in Britain until the 1980s when farmers began to farm them. Escapees from farms were able to establish wild herds, and we welcome their chance to live freely once again.
Shooters and farmers call for boar culls, stating that their deaths are warranted because they damage wild plants such as bluebells and eat crops. Pig farmers also say they are concerned over diseases spreading from wild populations to farmed pigs, even though there is a far greater risk of farmed animals contracting diseases from the stressed, overcrowded and filthy conditions in which they are forced to live, than from contact with a rare wild animal.
With natural habitats dwindling, and wildlife suffering from human intervention, it is remarkable that a new species can survive and thrive. We should protect the boar, not demonise and persecute them.