An unusually large wild boar has been killed by hunters in south-west France after a forest worker injured it by accident.
The worker was strimming undergrowth with a forest tractor in Landes, Nouvelle-Aquitaine when he caught sight of the giant boar behind his vehicle on November 3.
It was measured at over a metre in height and weighed 178kg. Its tusks were 22cm long. Most adult male wild boars weigh no more than 100kg.
The worker believed it had been injured by his tractor so called the local hunting association (ACCA de Saint-Avit), who sent two hunters to the scene.
Thomas Malassan, one of the hunters who dispatched the injured animal, said: “It just happened by accident, the worker was not at fault.
"It is better that it died this way. Firstly for drivers, animals like this can be very dangerous. If you hit a 178kg boar whilst driving at 80km/h the car will be wrecked and passengers could die. Secondly, for hunters, these animals can be very dangerous,” he told France Bleu.
Why was this boar so big?
Régis Hargues, Director of the Fédération de Chasse des Landes, told The Connexion that the old boar was the biggest ever killed in the department.
“The hunters said it looked like a bear, but with razor-sharp tusks,” he said.
“There have been bigger boars killed in France but this is a record for the department.
“We can only guess at its age, but given its size and the markings on its tusks, it was an old boar.”
Wild boars are considered old at the age of six, but can reach 100kg by the age of two.
Mr Hargues added that there were several reasons why this boar was so big:
- There are more boars today than ever before, which means seeing a big one is more likely.
“In 1980, hunters would only kill 300 in a year,” he said. “Now they have to kill up to 20,000 a year.”
- There is more food for boars available today
“They are thriving thanks to intensive agriculture and corn,” Mr Hargues said
- The warmer climate
“Climate change means they can be active, reproduce and find food all year round,”
- The boar’s old age
“This species is very good at adapting to humans, and this old boar had certainly been successful.”
How dangerous are these animals?
The danger posed by wild boars was shown only a week later when two hunters in the Dordogne were charged by a 100kg boar.
Their hunting party near the village of La Coquille had just opened fire on the animal and were pursuing it with their dogs on November 11.
"I was just regrouping the dogs", hunter Hervé Boyertold France Bleu Périgord.
"I thought that the boar had run off, but then I saw it standing 10m in front of me ready to charge at the dogs,” said the 52-year-old.
“I blew my horn, and he charged me in a flash. Then it all went black”
His colleague, a 66-year-old hunter, saw the boar’s attack and tried to drive it away, only to find himself the boar’s next target.
Both hunters suffered injuries: Mr Boyertold needed stitches for a head wound, and the 66 year old required surgery for a torn calf muscle and a wrist injury.
Mr Hargues said it is only a matter of time before people who are not hunters are injured.
“Boars attack if they feel threatened,” he said.
“But this could also happen to someone walking through the forest looking for mushrooms, for example.”
Only last week, this almost happened when two boars charged after a couple in Vendée.
“My wife immediately ran off to hide,” said Emmanuel Texier.
Fortunately, Mr Texier is a triathlete and simply carried on running, filming the boars pursuing him with his phone: