How well can wild boars and humans coexist in the same spaces?, Source: Depositphotos

Krakow has 10 times more wild boars on its streets than it should

Krakow has 10 times more wild boars on its streets than it should

The authorities are appealing to the citizens to stop feeding the roaming animals

At the end of last week, the Krakow City Council held a special press conference in order to call on citizens to refrain from feeding or even approaching, the wild boars that have been growing in numbers on the streets. So much so, that now it is estimated that there are somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 feral hogs in that Polish city.

That story is intriguing for a variety of factors, as it adds more information, but also more questions to the seemingly never-ending saga between European cities and the wild hogs.

Why are wild boars proliferating in Poland?

With the arrival of autumn, food sources in the natural habitat of the wild boars get depleted, especially after the collection of the agricultural harvests. Driven by hunger, these smart and adaptable animals have learned that the city streets can offer nutrition thanks to overflowing trash bins or compassionate humans.

Given these conditions, the Krakow authorities have actually accepted that there will always be some wild boars in the municipality. It may sound unbelievable but there is even a number that the experts have estimated should be tolerated – in the spirit of an “oh, well” coexistence. And that number is 150 boars. In other words, ten times fewer than there currently are.

In many cases in Krakow it can be said that we already have urban wild boars that were born in the city and through (citizen) feeding, but also because there is a lot of agricultural land in Krakow, they have better conditions to reproduce than in places where they have to fight for food,” noted Jerzy Muzyk, deputy mayor of the Polish city.

Why is it hard to control wild boars?

The Krakow Municipality is covered by hunting districts, which are leased to hunting clubs and are obliged to shape the game population, taking into account the specificity of urban areas.

However, this being a very large and urbanized municipality, as well, there are also a multitude of regulations which limit the operation of hunters since public safety needs to be ensured.

For instance, hunters cannot fire their arms within 150 metres of residential buildings. Furthermore, the operation of a specialized trapping facility is curtailed because legislation forbids the removal of animals from one place to another as a precaution against the spread of African swine fever.

The accumulation of these circumstances makes it practically impossible to control the roaming wild boar population, which is why city officials have resorted to public appeals to citizens not to feed the animals and to ensure that they don’t leave organic waste outside the bins.



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