A large boar strolling around

Did wild boars help unseat Rome’s mayor Raggi?

Did wild boars help unseat Rome’s mayor Raggi?

At least in some ways, Nature has made a return to the Italian capital

Could it be that while we are lost on our greening efforts to bring cities closer to Nature we might discover that we have already grown too distant to comprehend it? Point in case – the Italian capital of Rome. The Eternal City has seen it all through the millennia and to one of its newer experiences we can add roaming packs of boars on its streets.

The wild animals have been making regular inroads into the city, so much so that they even became a point of contention in the recent local elections. Now that we know the results, we can also speculate that, at least partially, the boars might have had a role in her dismal electoral performance.

At least one boar attack on a human has been recorded

Different media sources have been reporting on the increased sightings of wild pigs on the Roman streets. About two weeks before the elections a pack of boars, supposedly a mother and her already grown piglets, equipped with sharp tusks, coarse hair and brazen attitudes had no qualms on taking a walk among traffic on Via Trionfale, a busy road crossing the suburb of Monte Mario.

Onlookers were happy to film them and share the videos on social media, prompting jokes about the introduction of ‘wild boar lanes’ in the manner of cycling lanes, now that there was a need to share the road with these new residents.

The wild pigs have also been reportedly seen near the Foreign Ministry, and residents have shared stories about being followed by them while taking out the trash. The most chilling story, however, happened back in May when another gang of these creatures snatched the shopping bags from a woman at a parking lot in Formello (a town in Lazio) and proceeded to consume whatever they found inside them.

Speak of bad timing, in pre-election times many critics were quick to link the increased presence of the wildlife to the decay in the capital, defined by piling trash, potholed streets and numerous graffiti. In other words, a direct sign that Mayor Raggi failed to make the city ‘livable’ as she had promised in 2016.

She, however, lamented that the animals were unfairly used to take shots at her governance by claiming that the responsibility for the increase in boar population was the lax attitude of the Lazio region authorities. The surrounding countryside is apparently passionate about boar hunting and local cuisine is known about gourmet delights, such as pappardelle with boar meat or boar stew.

The mayor even went so far as to start legal proceedings against the regional authorities on that matter, but as the recent results showed it was to no avail and she placed third in the election results.



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