Some residential areas of Marbella have seen an influx of wild boar searching for food. It has left some people too scared to walk their dogs at night, in case they come across a boar in the dark.
The boar are making their presence known in the areas of Xarblanca, Artola Baja, across the golf courses and Bello Horizonte. The animals have left the countryside in search of food.
“I’m afraid to take the dog out at night in case I meet a wild boar,” Lourdes, a resident of Bello Horizonte, told The Sur newspaper. “As soon as it gets dark, we leave, and I don’t take the dog out after half seven,” she said. She also recalled that there was not an issue with boar when she first moved into the area.
Evidence of the wild boar is there to see in the children’s playground where the animals have damaged swings and torn up the grass.
Lack of rain means lack of food
Head of the municipal animal and environmental health service, José Manuel Moyano, explained the reason the boar are entering urban areas is due to the shortage of rain and subsequent lack of food.
“For animals, it is much easier to find food in the rubbish bins and water in gardens,” he said. “Marbella is next door to the Juanar national hunting reserve, and wild boar walk 50 or 60 kilometres at night. So it is very easy for them to leave the hunting area where there is danger and move to a calmer place where they can find food,” he told The Sur.
To try to reduce the number of wild boar and make residents feel more comfortable, the animals are currently being captured in cages in the areas they inhabit the most.
The general director of Health, Lisandro Vieytes, has asked residents to notify the Local Police when they spot the animals. The police in turn will contact the veterinary health service to capture them.
The problem is not just in Marbella. In Barcelona, the authorities installed electric fencing to combat the boar issue.
Attracted by rubbish
Rubbish is a major attraction for wild boar in urban areas as it promises food. Residents report instances of groups of boar congregating around the large bins. Some people are now taking their rubbish out less frequently, and whilst it is still light, in order to avoid the animals.
A major problem is if the boar have young with them. Naturally, they become aggressive if they perceive a threat, and this is even more the case if someone is with their dog. Whatever you do, if you encounter wild boar, do not approach them or try to touch them, particularly if they have young.
Vieytes emphasised that to minimise the situation: “It is very important that people throw away their rubbish at the stipulated times, in a closed bag and inside the rubbish bin rather than around it.”
Another issue is people feeding the animals. However, it is “forbidden to feed any type of animal on public roads.”