By Kevin Fraser Park •
Published: 10 Dec 2023 • 12:18
Wild Boar threat
Photo: Shutterstock / YiitKoseoglu
You can find them on the beaches of Las Chapas and El Cable. On the promenade of San Pedro. In the parks of Nueva Andalucía, Bello Horizonte, Xarblanca or El Capricho. In the Arco de Marbella. In places as central as Arias Maldonado Avenue, the cemetery of San Bernabé or the Palacio de Congresos. They roam freely throughout almost the entire municipality: wild pigs roam in search of food all over the Costa del Sol.
Before the pandemic, it was usual that, each year, the experts of the Municipal Health Department had to capture 4 or 5 wild boars that came down from the mountains to the urban area. However, the numbers have skyrocketed: in the last year they have had to neutralise or capture more than 250. The situation is out of control. “Just in Elviria we have captured more than 60 wild boar. We can’t cope. The situation is getting out of control”, said one source talking to El Periódico de Marbella.
The councillor for Health, Lisandro Vyetes, explained that they have hired a team of 20 expert archers from the Andalucian Hunting Federation who have a strict protocol for hunting wild boar and can only neutralise them in the municipality’s arroyos. For this reason, the Delegación de Medio Ambiente is cleaning and clearing the rivers so that the archers can act more effectively, as they are the natural entrance route used by the wild pigs to reach, in some cases, the heart of the municipality.
“In addition to the archers, we have recently contracted a company that is placing rows of cages on public woodland to limit the number of wild boars,” explained the councillor.
In addition to all this, there are 30 cages that the health technicians are moving from one place to another in parks and urbanisations to tackle the outbreaks of wild pigs that enter urban areas. “It is a slow process because sometimes it happens that we put up the cage, the wild boar is trapped and a neighbour sees it and frees it and that animal, from then on, has learned to avoid the cages and teaches its herd to do the same”, explained one of the experts.
Feral pigs are also causing traffic accidents. They have attacked dozens of dogs all over the municipality. It is a problem that affects not only Marbella but all the municipalities of the Costa del Sol.
Vyetes appealed to the public to avoid feeding wild boar and to avoid leaving bags of rubbish outside the containers. “With the drought, they are coming down to many areas where they didn’t come before, and we all have to work together to prevent this from happening”. The councillor is confident that when the rains come, if they are strong enough, the wild pigs will return to the mountains and will not have to go down to urban areas to feed.
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Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.
Jabalí, or wild boar, are not to be confused with feral pigs, the term is not interchangeable. A feral animal is a domestic breed which lives free from the intervention of humans, with regard to feeding themselves and breeding indiscriminately. Wild boar (Sus scrofa) are a genetically distinct animal.
Anyone unfortunate enough to run across one, and get attacked, while walking their dog is advised to release the dog. A dog on a lead, or in someone’s arms, cannot escape, and the owner could be seriously injured, but a loose dog has the chance of outrunning its attackers.
If it’s the breeding season, or there are already young on the ground, avoid areas where they are known to live. They can be highly aggressive and territorial, and will attack if they feel provoked.
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