Wild Boars Are Holding Rome Residents 'Hostage'

Some neighborhoods have introduced curfews
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2022 2:54 PM CDT
Rome Neighborhoods Bring in Curfew After Boar Attacks
Wild boars cross a street in Rome.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Rome is being overrun not by Visigoths, but by wild boar. The animals have been considered a nuisance in the Italian capital for years, but unpleasant encounters between boar and Romans appear to be on the rise, the Guardian reports. After a spate of attacks, including one in which a woman was knocked to the ground, six neighborhoods in the north of the city have brought in a form of curfew, strongly advising residents not to venture outside after 8:30pm. Residents say there are few people on the streets after that hour, meaning anyone attacked by a boar at night might find that nobody is around to help.

Franco Quaranta, founder of a residents' activist group, tells La Repubblica citizens are organizing because the government isn't doing enough about the boars and it could be only a matter of time before a child is attacked. "With their teeth a bite on the leg is enough to endanger the life of a person," he says. There are believed to be around 6,000 wild boar in Rome and they are increasingly being seen in the daytime as well as at night. Wildlife groups say they only attack if they perceive a threat to their offspring or their food source—but that can include garbage cans.

Authorities say they are fencing off some public garbage cans and installing barriers to try to keep the boar inside parks. David Granieri, head of the agricultural association in the surrounding Lazio region, is pushing for hunters to be allowed to cull boar inside city limits, CBS reports. "The people of Rome are being held hostage by wild boar," he says. But not all residents support culls: In 2020, the New York Times reported that residents were outraged when authorities euthanized a mother boar and six piglets in a playground near the Vatican, where children had been feeding them. (Last year, Shakira said she was attacked by boar in Barcelona.)

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