Home NEWS Wild boar sightings on the increase in Andalucía

Wild boar sightings on the increase in Andalucía


Sightings of packs of wild boar, or ‘sounders’, are on the increase across Andalucía Spain

Large groups of wild boars- known as sounders- are now a common sight in some Spanish cities and authorities say they have no option but to capture and put them down. The region of Andalucia in Spain has reported a steep increase in the number of sounders, with some residents angry and upset after the boars attacked their pets.

As wild boars have no natural enemies and are losing their fear of humans, they are also becoming increasingly common in urban areas.

Although the problem is not new in Spain, it got worse during the COVID-19 pandemic when more wild animals ventured into urban areas that had turned much quieter due to lockdowns.

A series of forest fires across Spain has led to the boar’s natural habitat being destroyed- forcing them to edge further into suburban areas to scour for food.

Attracted by garbage bins and people feeding them, the wild boars wander or lie about in parks and suburban streets, often causing scooter and bicycle accidents. They have also been known to pester people carrying shopping bags as their search for food to survive deepens.

A veterinary technician in charge of the boar control program in Barcelona, Carles Conejero, said no veterinarian liked to kill animals. “But we have to do it,” he said. “We cannot release them back into the wild because they have lost their instincts.”

Spain’s Hunting Resources Research Institute estimates the wild boar population will surpass 2 million next year.

Spread disease

The Official Gazette of the Junta de Andalucía (BOJA) published a resolution from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development in August 2022, declaring a ​​temporary hunting emergency due to damage and health risks posed by wild boars and wild pigs in the Autonomous Community of Andalucia.

Local hunters were able to collaborate in the control of these populations, with the aim of decreasing their numbers and, in this way, reducing the possibility of spreading diseases to cattle. In fact, these two species are considered today, for various reasons, the main cause of bovine tuberculosis in Spain.

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