Wild boar 'rooting through bins'
Published 13/01/2010 | 09:18
Wild boar have been spotted rooting through rubbish bins to find food during the big freeze.
The creatures - famous inhabitants of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire - are unable to forage for food on the frozen ground.
Roxanne Blake, of Buckshaft, near Cinderford, was shocked to find two of the animals hunting for provisions outside her home.
Mrs Blake told the Western Daily Press: "They came of out of the woods by my flat and scavenged through the rubbish. They were probably hungry because of the snow. I don't think the boar would normally do this but the snow is affecting everyone and everything."
A spokesman for Forest of Dean District Council said rubbish was being collected but the more remote parts remained inaccessible.
After reaching virtual extinction 700 years ago, wild boar have bred rapidly in recent decades. Escapes from wildlife parks and farms and deliberate releases into the wild have been blamed for the rise.
In January 2008 a wild boar broke into Ruardean Primary School and was shot dead in the playground after it became aggressive. There have been several instances of horse riders chased by charging boar, boar trashing private gardens and farms, and of the boar tearing dogs apart.
A cull of boar in the Forest of Dean is due to start this year, with trained marksmen picking them out. It is estimated that there could be up to 150 of the feral pigs in the area, with the Forestry Commission wanting to maintain an average of 100 roaming animals.