What to do in an Encounter with a Wild Boar
A wild boar encounter can get your heart racing. Even experienced boar watchers continue to feel
some adrenaline when boars come close, not just because they are large and supposedly
unpredictable, but to have a large native wild animal so close is without doubt one of the best wildlife
experiences you are likely to have in the UK.
But to some people, their closeness creates intolerable anxiety. There are, however, some people
who either do not share our passion for wild boar, or who have experience of wild boar rooting for
food near their properties. So below is some advice on how we can all live alongside this incredible
Wild boar are naturally elusive animals and prefer to be secretive,; they are also largely nocturnal.
If unthreatened they are highly unlikely to attack people.
How would I avoid potential negative interactions with wild boar?
• Try to keep to footpaths when out walking; wild boar will use dense overgrowth during the breeding season to make their nests. Wild boar litters are born in the spring, at this time there may be potential for a protective sow with young piglets. If left unthreatened there should be no danger.
• Do not feed the boar - feeding wild boar will habituate them to a point they fully trust humans, and maximise the chances of wildlife crimes e.g. poaching
• If you are concerned about your gardens please ensure you install a sturdy fence and keep all gates closed. This is the case for all wildlife, not just wild boar.
• Do not leave food lying on the ground. Anything from pet food to rubbish can attract wild boar. Ensure when you put the pins out the lids are closed to minimise any animal entering them.
• Ensure that if you have a dog it is on a lead and/or under close control – this is relevant to ALL wildlife, not just wild boar and it considered part of responsible pet ownership.
• IMPORTANT - Drive at a sensible speed on our roads. Not only will speeding heighten the risk of killing any number of wild animals, wild boar can cause extensive damage to vehicles.
What should I do if I encounter a wild boar?
If you encounter wild boar whilst out in the countryside around the UK:
• Do not approach them – if possible, and you didn’t want to stand still and admire them, leave the area by the same route you approached, if this is not possible you can make a detour giving the animals a wide berth. This way they will feel no threat from your presence.
• If you have a dog off its lead, call the dog to heel and put the lead on it immediately. In the very rare case of a boar chasing your dog DROP THE LEAD, the dog can evade the boar much faster than if you are on the other end of its lead.
• If your dog chases a boar, stay at a safe distance and continue to call the dog back – do not approach the boar or interfere. Either the boar will run off, it will signal to the dog it doesn’t approve of this game, or the dog will get bored and run back to you.