Sunday, 18 September 2011

Celebrity Status

It's been a tense week here in the Forest of Dean.  Leaked information of the Forestry Commission "going after" the black sow and her piglets made for a quick and angry response from Friends of the Boar.  This friendly young family is possibly one of the best wildlife events for many years, and should really be making national news.  We have been getting her some publicity in the local press, calling on the papers, radio and TV to get her some coverage.  But like many media outlets, they are slow to react and rarely cover even 10% of what we want to say.

But she is surviving and is still giving residents and tourists a rare treat of a close wildlife encounter.

A natural scene from our distant past.  Humans living alongside our ancient animals. (click to enlarge).

It is a medieval, and many say, a natural scene.  She "belongs" here, seeming to fit into the landscape as much as the trees do (unlike the sheep we have roaming free and alongside roads).  And so she would do, as this is a native wild animal.

Many generations on now from captivity, when these wild boar were being brought from Europe for breeding with domestic pigs.  They are not feral (escaped domestic animals like cats and dogs living wild), and never have been because they have always been "wild boar".  An escaped mink from a fur farm or muntjac from a zoo are not termed feral and neither should the boars. The label of "feral" was a government response to appease farmers and hunters, as feral status infers no legal protection.  They are the genuine article and need protection such as a closed season and licensing regulations on firearms used to kill them.

Long may they live without fear and persecution for doing their great and ancient job of natural forest management.



  1. Despite looking out for them in places where I used to see them frequently I haven't seen this 'celebrity' family now for over two weeks. Does anyone have any reliable information about them?

  2. We have been hoping that someone may add a comment to tell us they have seen the black sow and her piglets.

    Since your question was posed, we have been alerted that the black sow is alive and well. One of her piglets is now missing presumed dead. She is still in the usual area, but thankfully, her youngsters (now grown)are more nervous of humans these days.

    There has been no reports of 3 other boar families that were also unafraid of humans and were commonly photographed and enjoyed ny visitors and residents.

    We believe these were shot by the Forestry Commission soon after the Autumnwatch crew left. This includes the 3 boars in the piece feeding off bait (and also embedded in the blog under Autumnwatch - The Verdict).

    Thanks again eff,

    Friends of the Boar

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