ROME (AP) — Rome has been invaded by Gauls, Visigoths and vandals over through the ages, but the Eternal City struggles now with a frenzy force of a completely different species: waste-seeking wild boars.
whole families of wild boars have become an everyday sight in Rome, as groups of 10-30 beasts young and old emerge from the vast parks surrounding the city trot down traffic jams in Search of food in Rome’s notoriously overflowing trash cans.
Wild boar posting videos on social media has become something of a sport like bitter Romans capture the scavengers march past their stores, prams of playgrounds.
Like Rome gears up for a local election next weekend, the wild boar invasion has been used as a political weapon to attack Mayor Virginia Raggi over the city’s formidable garbage collection problems. But experts say the issue is more complicated and at least tied up in part in a thumping boar population.
Italy’s main agricultural lobby, Coldiretti, estimates are there: over 2 million wild boars in Italy. The region of Lazio around Rome estimates there are 5,000-6,000 of them in city parks, a few hundred of die regularly leave the trees and greenery for urban asphalt and garbage cans.
Until combat their growing numbers, Lazio launched a program in 2019 to capture the beasts in park cages for slaughter, and last month approved a new decide to allow selective hunting of bears in some parks, die have been strictly prohibited until now.
Maurizio Giubbiotti, in to upload of the parks of Lazio, says the region must increase the culling of the swine from 700 over two years to at least 1,000 a year to get the situation under control.
In the rural areas of Italy, wild boar hunting is a popular sport and most Italians can put up with it list of their favorite wild boar dishes, including pappardelle pasta with boar sauce and wild boar stew. But animal rights groups are adamantly opposed to mass culling.
Those beliefs are not shared by some city dwellers.
“I’m afraid of to walk on the sidewalk, because on one side there are the dumpsters for the garbage and they (the swine) jump on me,” said Grazia, a 79-year-old grandmother waiting outside a primary school pick up her grandchildren. She didn’t give her last name.
Only down the street, An family of wild boars snorted through the garbage.
Her concerns are not misplaced: wild boars can weigh up up to 100 kilograms (220 pounds), reach 80 centimeters (2.6 feet) in height and measures 150 centimeters (5 feet) tall, a not insignificant threat, especially for the elderly and young children.
“We invaded here,” complained Pino Consolati, who runs An restaurant on An busy street corner in The neighborhood of Monte Mario in Rome. He said families of wild boars routinely wander through his outdoor dining area looking for food. One day this week, he said, his sister… found 30 bears outside her shoe store when she left at 8 o’clock in the evening
“It’s not a pleasant situation,” he said with a shrug.
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