Wild boar shot dead after rampaging around primary school in Italy

A large wild boar had to be shot dead on Thursday after wandering into an Italian primary school and injuring a caretaker.

The number of boar is on the increase in Italy, with small herds and individuals frequently spotted on the outskirts of cities such as Rome, Bologna and Genoa, often in search of food dumped in rubbish bins.

In the latest incursion, the boar entered the grounds of an elementary school in Palermo in Sicily.

The Forestry Corps was alerted and an officer shot the animal dead with a rifle.

“One of our caretakers was injured in the leg,” said Carola Butera, the deputy head of the school. “The boar wandered around for a while. It went through a gate but remained in the garden. We were worried so we called everyone we could think of – the police, the fire brigade, the Carabinieri, the Forestry Corps.”

Forestry officers said putting down the animal was the only option.

There are now an estimated one million wild boar in Italy. Attacks on humans are rare.Credit:
Picture Press

Wild boar numbers are on the increase in Italy, in part due to the abandonment of farmland, which has allowed the spread of scrub and woodland – perfect habitat for the species.

It is unusual for the creatures to attack humans. In one rare fatality in 2015, a pensioner was gored to death by a wild boar while walking his dogs in the countryside around the town of Cefalu, also in Sicily.

Salvatore Rinaudo, 77, died at the scene and his 73-year-old wife sustained serious injuries in trying to fend off the wild pig.

Last month a hunter in Sardinia was injured by a boar and had to be airlifted to hospital by helicopter.

The 52-year-old was taking part in a drive for boar when a wounded animal burst out of the undergrowth and gored him in the leg. He was operated on and survived.

The wild boar making itself at home in the grounds of the school in Palermo. Forest rangers later shot the animal dead.Credit:
Giornale di Sicilia

Boars are considered to be potentially dangerous when they are injured, when they have young piglets in tow and during the winter rutting season.

In the last decade, the number of wild boar in Italy has increased from 600,000 to a million, according to ISPRA, the Italian institute for environmental research.

They have no natural predators apart from wolves, which are making a comeback but not in sufficient numbers to put much of a dent in the growing boar population.

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