We gathered 25 wild boar facts to introduce to you one of the most widely spread wild pigs. Of course, many people know that wild boars are no more than wild pigs or wild swine. You can use all these names interchangeably.
Wild boars are one of the densely populated mammals on this planet. That means you will find them in most parts of the world in large groups. Due to their large population, most countries do not impost hunting restrictions on them. In fact, some countries encourage hunting these animals to control their number.
According to the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN), wild boars are classified least concern of extinction. That means they will not disappear from this planet any time soon.
Now let me share some of the interesting facts about wild boars to indulge your curiosity.
1. Wild boars are present in six out of seven continents of the planet.
You will be able to find them in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. However, the climate conditions of Antarctica is not suitable for wild boars, so you won’t find their footprints on that frozen continent.
A map provided below indicate the habitats of wild boars.
More specifically, European countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Portugal are home to a large number of wild boars.
2. Wild Boars cause significant economic damages.
They are notorious for destroying crops. For that reason, countries such as Canada, the United States, and Mexico consider wild boars pests.
Usually, they are uninvited guests that cause serious damages to farmlands. Also, they put some plants and animals on the verge of extinction by overly feeding on them without giving them a chance to reproduce.
They can also cause serious car accidents on the roads by crossing busy roads.
3. Wild boars live in small matriarchal groups.
This means female wild boars live together with their female relatives and young ones (both males and females). Matriarchal societies of wild boars are known as sounders. Usually, sounders are led by an older sow (an adult female boar) of the group.
As soon as male wild boars reach maturity, they separate from sounders and live in a solitary life.
4. Wild boars are not native to the United States. They are native to Western Europe and Northern Africa.
Wild boars were introduced to the US in the early 1900s. People released several Eurasian wild boars in some parts of the US for sport hunting.
The ones that escaped from the hunting areas crossbreed with feral swine and escaped domestic pigs. As a result, their numbers grew significantly in the US.
5. Wild boars live about 14 years in the wilderness.
However, there are reports that some wild boars can live up to 20 years if they kept in captivity.
As they grow older, their chance of being hunted down also increases because hunters usually go after larger boars.
6. The reproduction of wild boars allows them to multiply their population in a very short time.
Because wild boars reach their sexual maturity in one year and each time they can give birth somewhere between 2 and 12 piglets. Also, wild boars are capable of having 2 litters a year.
Single male boar can mate with 2-10 sows depending on their age and rivals. Mating season is not an easy business for male boars. First, they need to pass a long distance to find sows. Once they found possible mates, they engage in fierce battles with their rivals. During the process, male boars get fierce injuries.
7. Wild boars can attack humans only if they feel threatened.
It is a known fact that most of the animals engage in protective mode if they feel threatened. It is highly recommended not to corner the wild boars because they may attack anyone or anything to escape from an uncomfortable situation.
Also, female wild boars (sows) are very protective of their piglets. If someone disturbs their young ones, they can easily get provoked.
8. Wild boars do not have a specific diet and that allows them to spread to the areas which have new types of vegetation.
Unlike some mammals, wild boars have an appetite for a large number of vegetations. When scientists analyzed their stomach content, they found 19 different plant species in their stomach.
In general, wild boars specifically like to eat wheat, oats, rice, maize, barley, sugar beets, rye, potatoes, oats, and sorghum. Farmers who grew these products usually create barriers to protect their fields against these destructive creatures.
9. Wild boars are omnivores. This means they eat both plants and animals.
Most scientific sources suggest that the large portion of their diet composed of plant-based foods. However, animal protein is also crucial for their diet.
When scientists studied a wild boar’s stomach content, they found mammal hairs, bird feathers, and remnants of insects.
10. Male wild boars have a large tusk while females have none.
Those are the primary difference between male and female wild boars. Also, the size of male wild boars significantly larger than that of females. More specifically, male wild boars 10% larger and 30% heavier than sows
Also, males live in solitary lifestyles outside of the breeding season. On the other hand, sows stay in small groups (sounders) with their female relatives and young ones.
11. Wild boar hunting increased tenfold in Europe but their populations are gradually increasing.
The large population of wild boars causes economic damage by ravaging farms and structures. Therefore, some European countries encourage wild boar hunting to keep their numbers under control.
12. The primary benefit of wild boars is that their meat is an alternative to costly beef.
People prepared different dishes from their meat. Dishes prepared from wild boars are served as a delicacy in some restaurants.
Surprisingly, some people prefer their meat over domestic pigs because of the following reasons:
· Wild boars are always on the move. As a result, their meat becomes leaner than that of domestic pigs. In other words, their meat does not contain as much fat as its counterpart does.
· Wild boars forage their food out in the wilderness, while pigs are kept in the enclosed environment and feed with altered foods.
13. Wild boars can carry infectious diseases and parasites.
This means that wild boar meat is not ecologically clean as some people believe. For example, German wild boars feed on plants, mushrooms, and truffles contaminated with cesium from the Chernobyl disaster.
That means people who like to eat game meat should be careful. Because in most areas, game meat does not go through control tests as farm-grown meat does.
14. Gray wolves, komodo dragons, tigers and snow leopards are the primary predators of wild boars.
Gray wolves hunt wild boars in most parts of the European Continents. However, in the regions of the Far East and the Lesser Sunda Islands, wild boars become the prey for tigers and komodo dragons.
Due to their fierce tusks, strongly-built bodies, and exceptionally fast speed, wild boars do not make easy prey for predators. In some cases, predators do not attempt to hunt large wild boars feeling that they can get hurt during the hunting process.
15. Wild boars are the ancestors of the current-day pigs.
Pigs and wild boars are two different animals but they come from the ancestors. In other words, most breeds of pigs originated from wild boars. Archeological excavations found in different parts of the world also confirm this theory.
For instance, the remnants of historic civilizations found in the Near East, China, and Cyprus suggest that around 1300 BCE, civilization began domesticating wild boars to use them as a food source.
16. Wild boars are good diggers.
By using their snout and tusks, wild boars dig grounds searching for food. This behavior allows them to find their food during the scarcity. They are capable of finding underground foods such as roots, insects, and remnants of organic substances.
However, their digging behavior also destroys people’s nice lawns in some cases. Wild boars can even dig the frozen grounds about 4 inches deep (12 cm). They can move heave objects such as rocks that weigh about 88-110 pounds (40-50kg) if they detect any food at the bottom of those objects.
17. Wild boars are fast runners, high jumpers, and exceptionally good swimmers.
If you watch them in action (watch YouTube videos), you will know what I am talking about. They remain physically active most of the time because they need to forage their food out in the wilderness. If they smell food on the other side of the river, they are not afraid to cross it by swimming.
If they feel an urge or any danger, they can run at a speed up to 25 miles per hour (40 km/h) and jump up to 3 feet (1 m) high. Because of that farmers usually make higher fencing to keep them out of their crops.
18. Wild boars are strong and they can weigh up to 770 pounds (350 kg)
The size and the weight of wild boars depend on their species. In general, wild boars definitely have serious meat on their bones. Male boars weigh somewhere between 100 and 770 lbs. (45-350 kg).
Female wild boars are usually lighter. Sows measure somewhere between 80 – 260 lbs. (36 -120 kg).
19. The largest wild boars live in the Northeast regions of China (Manchuria) and the Far Eastern regions of Russia (Primorsky Krai).
Some of the wild boars in those regions were measured to be over 770 lbs. (350 kg). However, it is very rare to find them in those sizes. Because hunters usually target the largest males, which prevents them from growing to their maximum size.
20. Wild boars make three types of sounds depending on a message they try to send.
As we all know, animals communicate through diverse sounds, vibrations, and movements. Wild boars also have their way of communicating.
The sounds wild boars make are divided into three categories:
The first one is a contact call. Which includes sounds such as purring, whining, and grunting.
The sound of the second category is usually produced to alarm others. If they feel a threat, they alarm others by making screeches and huffing noises, which are usually described as (ugh! Ugh! or gu gu gu).
The third type of sound they make is a high-pitched cry. They produce that sound when they are fully engaged in a fierce battle.
21. A wild boar was used as a drug detector in Germany because of its phenomenal sense of smell.
We do not know whether wild boars are still in sniffing business or not. But evidently wild boars have a strong sense of smell. Their sense of smell overpasses their eyesight and hearing capabilities.
Interestingly, there are stories that state that wild boars are capable of finding drugs. For example, a group of wild boars in Tuscany, Italy found a stash of hidden cocaine worth up to 17,000 euros and “snorted” and destroyed the whole thing.
22. Wild boars can sense smell 5-7 miles (4.8-11.3 miles) away.
Their extraordinary sense of smell helps them to detect food sources easily. But, in some cases, their sense of smell puts them in a deadly risk.
Knowing that wild boars like to eat sweet corn, hunters soak the corn for several days until it releases a strong aroma. Then, they used that soaked corn to lure down wild boars into the traps.
However, it does not mean that the method is always effective. Wild boars can also detect the smell of humans, making it hard for hunters to catch them at convenient distances.
23. The scientific name of the wild boars is Sus Scrofa.
You will only use that name if you are writing a scientific paper or taking a biology test. In other places, you are fine calling these creatures wild swine, wild hogs, wild boars, wild pigs, etc.… All these names are used interchangeably.
24. By the 11th century, the population of wild boars decreased significantly in England.
Kings liked to use them as hunting targets because wild boars moved quickly making the whole hunting experience more adventurous and engaging.
Wild boars were also a good source of meat for English people. Due to their crucial role in English society, some of the English kings such as William the Conqueror enacted a law forbidding the killing of wild boars.
King Charles I re-introduced breeding of wild boars in the New Forest to increase their numbers. However, his plan did not work out because of the civil war. During the war, people hunted wild boars more aggressively.
25. Wild boars are popular in various folklores and mythologies.
Some cultures considered wild boars symbols of courage and ferocity. For example, Celtic and Anglo-Saxon warriors wore helmets which included shapes depicting boar-heads.
Erymanthian Boar is popular in Greek mythology. According to some tales, Heracles was once ordered to capture the Erymanthian boar alive since it was terrorizing locals.
These are just a few examples of wild boars in mythology. You may find many more similar stories if you dive deeper into world folklore and tales.