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Stopping the herds of wild boar invading Malaga city: a company will be hired to hunt them down
Malaga city

Stopping the herds of wild boar invading Malaga city: a company will be hired to hunt them down

Malaga city hall is to dedicate 15,000 euros for experts to manage and control the presence of the animals in urban areas. Sightings have been made in the East district and Ciudad Jardín where they are coming down from the mountains by following streams

Pilar R. Quirós

Friday, 17 May 2024, 14:45

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The main business on the agenda for the most recent Malaga city council meeting was to approve a simple budget amendment of 5.27 million euros for various projects, including a new Davis Cup event in Malaga (1.8 million euros), but it was a relatively minor agenda item that attracted enormous attention: packs of wild boar spotted in the city.

SUR has already published on numerous occasions how sounders (the correct collective noun when a group) of wild boar have encroached on urban areas such as El Limonar, El Palo or Ciudad Jardín. Now the Environment Department is going to control the wild boar population in the city by contracting a company to hunt them with a budget of 15,000 euros.

Despite these animals having shown no aggression to date, nor have there been any regrettable encounters with people in the neighbourhood, the fact is that they are increasingly roaming freely. City councillor Carlos Conde underlined that they echoed the concerns of the neighbours and that is why they had decided to curb their presence in urban areas. To hunt these animals, he said, a special procedure would be put in place. He stressed that the Environment Department had noticed that the boar head down the streams foraging for food. It should be noted that during the breeding season the females have quite a protective spirit that can prove dangerous. He stressed that there were more and more complaints being made by residents' associations and that they have decided to take action to ensure that the animals, which are native to the mountains around Malaga city with a growing population, do not venture into the city.

Before the pandemic they had never been seen walking the city streets. However, as biologists and veterinarians point out, with the changes in animal behaviour, once various groups discover that there are other food options (such as foraging in the rubbish left by humans), the rest will soon learn these practices. This is something that other species do in Malaga, such as seagulls that fly to the Los Asperones solid waste treatment plant to feed, and they have even been seen hunting pigeons, when they previously survived by catching fish in the sea. Wild boar are omnivores like humans, so they eat practically anything and everything. Their main predator is the wolf, so apart from being shot by hunters during hunting season and only in the hunting grounds specifically reserved for this activity, there is no other species to prey on them, so they reproduce freely.

The aim is to monitor them to follow their behaviour and detect the pack leader in order to try to keep them away from the urban roads. There are different ways to intervene and these are being studied with the regional Junta to determine whether to do it as in other municipalities or via other methods. To date, the Junta has authorised the use of archers to shoot wild boar in towns such as Marbella. The problem is not only with wild boars, but also the so-called 'cerdalíes' (wild boars crossed with domestic pigs) and Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, imported as pets and then illegally released as adults. All are making trouble in numerous urbanisations, parks and facilities along the coast.

According to experts, wild boar are becoming established in urban areas for three reasons: because those areas have water all year round, thanks to garden irrigation and leaks; because they can find food in our rubbish as there is an abundance of food waste, including public litter bins in parks and food left out for stray cats.

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