Wild boar around?

If you go hiking in the Algarvian countryside and are an early riser, chances are you’ll spot a wild boar on your walk. Javali, as these creatures are called in Portuguese, usually move at night and in the early morning hours. What to do (or, more important: what NOT to do) if you encounter a wild boar? 

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine April 2017

Picture by Nick Karvounis

 

1. Don’t panic

Normally, wild boar are afraid of humans and will flee rather than attack you. They have poor eyesight, so you might want to try just standing still and see if the boar moves away. If so, live and let live. Continue your walk, but choose a route that leads you away from the boar.

2. Don’t ignore their warning signs

If a boar takes a few sniffs and moves on, fine. But if it’s making a growling noise and walking towards you with the hackles on its neck standing up, it’s letting you know that it’s pissed off at you for invading its territory. Best thing you can do is back off slowly now.

3. Don’t shout

Screaming and making lots of noise will not scare off the growling boar. On the contrary, you’ll be considered a threat and thus increase the chance of the boar attacking you. Be quiet.

4. Don’t underestimate it

Javali can weigh up to 120 kilos, have large teeth and run faster than you can (especially uphill). Don’t even think about starting a fight. If it starts to follow you, pick up some stones you can throw in the bushes to distract it. If it charges at you and there’s no tree to climb in, jump out of the way at the last moment. Like a matador would do with a bull.

5. Don’t hold onto your dog

If you’re walking your dog on a leash and are attacked by a wild boar, let your dog off the leash immediately. Its chances of survival are better when it isn’t tethered to a slow and clumsy human being like yourself. Make sure the dog doesn’t try to attack the boar.

6. Don’t try and stroke the boar

This will hopefully be a no-brainer by now. Especially don’t try to touch them if mama boar is accompanied by some cute little piglets. Not even if they come over for a look and smell. Feeding is a no go as well. Take that picture from a distance with a massive zoom lens and move on.

 

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine April 2017

Posted in Features.