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Wild Boar

Wild Boar (Sus scrofa)
People compare wild boar to pigs, and no wonder. At first glance it is pig-like, but its nose is much longer and larger, its withers taller, bum pushed in, legs higher, and body narrower and more muscular. The ears smaller but straighter, standing straight up and their tails look like paintbrushes. An adult boar weights around 120-250Kg, sometimes even reaches 300Kg. Wild sow weights range from 80-150Kg, and very rarely more. In winter the fur is heavier, longer and darker, with the longest fur found on the back. A wild sow at the head of the pack looses her winter fur last. An adult boar will have tougher skin and hair glued with mud to protect the sides and lungs during fights. Males especially have long and massive tusks, which are the hunter’s trophy. Bottom tusks are longer than the top, and year by year they get larger and sharper by constantly grounding against each other. This also helps in fights and it’s a perfect tool to pull out roots. By looking at the size of the teeth one can tell the age of the boar. But beware - nearly 2/3 of the tusks are grown inside the mouth, and only 1/3 is visible outside. It is important to take extra care when taking out the teeth, in preparation for a trophy, as they are grown in deeply. Smaller tusks make a popular trophy. They are also known as hooks, and are worked into jewelry.

Environment
Wild boar especially favors warm leafy forests with oaks and beech. They prefer moister environments with vegetation and shallow ponds, mainly close to sweet corn and wheat fields.

Lifestyle & Reproduction
Wild boar is active at dawn and dusk. During the day they hide in bushes to avoid being spotted by humans. They live in social groups, and only the older boars go on their own and lead separate lives. They will go long distances to get to food. They enjoy bathing in mud ponds, then drying and rubbing against trees. Mud baths help them cool down, get rid off parasites, and serve a social function. The wild boar rut is in November and December. In those months boars come to herds of females and most of the time there is a fight in order to become the dominant boar. That time the herd is very loud. Female boar gestation lasts 114-118 days, and on average 4-8 piglets are born between March and June. They come to world in brown color, with long stripes on their sides. As piglets they are very sensitive to cold, and so they lay very close to each other. Their mother looks after them and keeps them warm, and if she goes away she wraps them up first.
Wild boar has a great hearing and smell, but weaker sight. When angry or in danger, the fur on the back of the boar stands up to make the boar look bigger to help frighten away an enemy. A boar has tunnels from bushes in its territory and uses them to escape from enemies.

Food
European wild boar lives mostly on plants, but they also eat grains such as wheat and sweet corn. They also like to graze on many kinds of herbs, grass, roots, and mushrooms. Carnivorousness is common, too, and earthworms, snails, insects, and even the young of feathery and game, up to the size of roe deer, are consumed.

Predators
The adult wild boar’s enemies are mainly wolf and bear, but young boar fall prey to lynx, and from time to time stray dogs too.

Significance of hunting wild boar in Europe
In the past the wild boar population in Slovakia and Czech was not properly managed, and the population exploded, to the detriment of local farms. At the moment the wild boar population is back to its right numbers. The largest trophy taken scored 137.80 CIC points.

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