SHAKIRA’S close encounter with wild boars last week in a Barcelona park has yet again ignited a debate around the growing danger of the hogs across Spain.
The 44-year-old musician, who was with her eight-year-old son Milan when the animals pounced, was unharmed in the incident, but the same can’t be said for the singer’s belongings.
Her bag was snatched and was left worse for wear. She said on Instagram:
“Look at how two wild boars which attacked me in the park have left my bag … they were taking my bag to the woods with my mobile phone in it. They’ve destroyed everything”.
Whilst the story may have made for entertaining headlines across the world, the issue of wild boars in Spain is no laughing matter as they are responsible for many fatalities, injuries and attacks every year.
The hogs are considered to be very dangerous, they are highly aggressive and they are carriers of diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis E and influenza A. They also are the cause of thousands of road accidents each year.
Authorities in Madrid have for years employed archers in an attempt to control the population. They rely on up to 55 volunteer bow hunters to eliminate the animals which have increasingly begun to enter urban spaces.
In June the Olive Press reported how residents of Spain’s Costa del Sol were terrorized by a herd of the animals who were in search of a midnight feast.
Residents in La Cala del Moral were surprised in the middle of the night after a herd of twelve wild boar took to the streets of the Calaflores residential development, near the seafront promenade of Cala del Moral. However problems with the animals are becoming more commonplace across Spain.
According to Jose Antonio Villodres, head of Malaga based animal adoption centre Don Animal, the animals have been causing havoc in the area for years due to out-of-control population growth in their natural habitat.
He said: “They do not have enough food in the mountains and frequent residential areas looking to feed on anything they find.”
On Monday a video emerged on social media which shocked animal lovers across the country. It depicted six people in Barcelona capturing and killing a family of wild boars. The footage has caused outrage and sparked a debate as to how to handle the problem.
On Monday the bar association in Barcelona (El Colegio de la Abogacía de Barcelona) urged city authorities to condemn the manner in which the animals are slaughtered.
The association acknowledges the problem, but has suggested a population control campaign using a more humane approach.They say that Barcelona city authorities have hired a company to carry out population control using cruel methods.
The Animalist Party Against Mistreatment of Animals (Pacma), a political party founded in Bilbao in 2003 which dedicates itself to animal rights and welfare, said of the video: “ Is this how the Barcelona City Council treats animals? Is that what the money of the Barcelona citizens is used for?”
Wild boars are known to attack humans when they feel cornered or threatened, if they are trying to protect their offspring if it’s a female, and the attacks usually take place during the rutting season between November and January.
They charge when they attack attempting to knock over their targets, and their dangerously sharp tusks can result in serious injury or even death. If their victim continues to move following an initial attack, they will continue to charge.
If you are attacked by a boar try to remain calm, keep your distance, and slowly back away from the animal(s). Whatever you do, do not try to outrun the boars as they have a top-speed of between 25-30 mph.
They can also jump over fences of upto 3 ft, and can climb out of 5-6 ft deep holes. It is almost impossible to outrun a wild hog.
If possible, try to reach higher ground such as a boulder, climb onto a car, or try to scale a tree or fence. Just remember that the animals attack rapidly and you may not have time to do so.
During an attack try to keep your footing, try sidestepping quickly to avoid being swung by its tusks. As a last resort, fight back! Use any weapon you can to defend yourself until the attack ends. Try to remain on your feet as serious injuries can occur whilst on the ground.
You can minimize your chances of an attack by not approaching them, especially if piglets are present, this is highly dangerous. Do not feed them, do not corner them or provoke them in any way whatsoever.
Wild boars are responsible for many fatalities, hundreds of injuries, and thousands of attacks every year across Spain.
- POPSTAR SHAKIRA ATTACKED BY WILD BOARS IN BARCELONA PARK
- WILD BOAR INJURES FARMER AFTER HIS WIFE WAS HOSPITALISED LAST YEAR IN SIMILAR ATTACK ON SPAIN’S COSTA BLANCA