The persistent drought in Spain’s Axarquía not only threatens subtropical crops and puts the water supply of much of the area at risk, but it is also wreaking havoc on wildlife.
A three-year-old male wild boar has been prowling around Malaya beach in Benajarafe, at the western end of Vélez-Málaga on the Costa del Sol, for at least two days.
This Wednesday, 10 August, he took a swim in the sea before hurtling out of the water at full speed, as dozens of startled bathers - who gave him the nickname ‘boar shark’ - looked on in amazement.
José Antonio Villodres, the director of Don Animal, the company responsible for the Axarquia animal health service, contracted by the association of municipalities of the Eastern Costa del Sol, explained to SUR that they have been trying to capture the wild animal since yesterday, after receiving a call from the 112 emergency service control room and the Local Police in Vélez.
"Up until now we have not been able to capture it, but we have already identified the path it takes, through drainage gullies under the N-340 road to the beach, and it also hides in some reed beds," explained the wildlife specialist, who has stressed that bathers should not approach the wild animal, weighing about 60 kilos, since it has large tusks.
"Even if he doesn't attack, just by rubbing against you he can do a lot of damage, you have to stay still and not push him," he added.
Villodres explained that the extreme drought that the province is experiencing and especially the eastern region is causing wild boars to search for cool areas to live in, "and very daring specimens like this one have settled on the beach, because it is a way of cooling off", he pointed out. The director of Don Animal has said that they will continue to monitor this area to try to capture it using anaesthetic darts to later return it to the area of the mountains.
So far this year this company has already captured a dozen wild boars, mainly in residential areas of Rincón de la Victoria and Torrox. "These are animals that are not protected, but the hunting period runs from October to January," Villodres pointed out, while saying that in a few weeks this male specimen "will probably go further inland, to look for the females".