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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Wild boar crossing the border

Norway is in the process of acquiring another species of animal that it’s not sure it wants, as increasing numbers of wild boar have been crossing the border from Sweden.

The boar (called villsvin in Norwegian) are becoming more common in the eastern county of Østfold. Conservation officials think it’s a direct result of an “exploding” boar population in Sweden since the Swedish government halted their eradication in the 1980s.

There’s now an estimated 100,000 wild boar in Sweden and they’re reportedly on the prowl for new sources of food. Olav Haaverstad of Norway’s agricultural college in Ås, says that’s prompted them to migrate west into the forests and fields of Østfold.

“In the forests around Aremark there’s now an established population of between 50 and 100 boar,” Haaverstad told newspaper Aftenposten. Local landowners aren’t pleased, fearing the boar will burrow into their plant and tree roots, and introduce new parasites and illness.

Hunters, on the other hand, welcome the boar, both for sport and profit since meat from a wild boar is considered a delicacy by some. Many Norwegians now travel to Sweden and the Baltic countries to hunt boar, and soon may not need to leave home.

Local government officials in Aremark mostly want to keep the boar away from the local population. “Meeting a wild boar in the woods while you’re out hiking with your youngsters is nothing to look forward to,” Jon Fredrik Olsen of Aremark township told Aftenposten.

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