Friday, February 5, 2010

One family happy that rubbish hasn't been collected: Big Freeze forces starving WILD BOAR to ransack bins in search for food

By Daily Mail Reporter

These incredible pictures reveal how wild boar are ransacking rubbish bins in a bid to find food during Britain's deep freeze.

Plummeting temperatures and snow have left the ground so hard that the animals are unable to forage for food on the forest floor.

Residents in the Forest of Dean, Gloucester, have found their bin bags ripped open and rubbish strewn across their driveways and gardens.

Hungry: Wild boar raid rubbish bags for food in the village of Buckshaft, Gloucestershire

Mother-of-one Roxanne Blake, 23, was shocked to see ten of the creatures rifling through her and her neighbours' bins in Buckshaft, near Cinderford.

She said: 'My partner put the rubbish out the night before because he thought that the rubbish people were going to come and collect the next day.

'He texted me the next morning on his way out to say that he thought some foxes had gotten into the bin bags.

'I looked out the window at about half past ten to see how much rubbish there was to pick up, and there was two wild boar right in the rubbish.

'I guess they're really hungry because it's been so snowy, but I've never seen them be so bold.

'They were picking up the rubbish bags in their mouths and shaking them until they ripped open.

'Because I've got a baby there were nappy bags and everything. It was horrible.'

Food hunt: The animals left the nearby Forest of Dean after the deep frosts and snow left them unable to forage on the woodland floor

Ms Blake photographed two boars as they munched through her refuse for 30 minutes before being frightened off by a Forestry Commission vehicle.

She added: 'I've never seen it happen before, but I've also never seen it so snowy in the area, and they only got reintroduced a couple of years ago.

'They must have been really hungry because it was so frozen everywhere.

'I've seen them before, but only in the forest. The two in my rubbish were the biggest ones I've ever seen, and there were about nine more amongst the neighbours' rubbish.

'They're the size of a big dog. I wouldn't approach them - they're known to be aggressive.

'I think they're getting used to humans and getting braver now - like urban foxes.'

Wild boar occurred naturally in the Forest of Dean until they died out 700 years ago, but a population was illegally reintroduced in 2004 and has since flourished.

It is now estimated more than 150 of the beasts roam the 35 square-mile oak forest.

Last week the Forestry Commission was given the go-ahead by the government to cull the population to 100 after concerns that the creatures have been damaging the ancient woodland.

In January 2008, an aggressive boar had to be shot at Ruardean Primary School.

Boars also damaged a football pitch at Ruspidge last year while a number of gardeners have complained of damage.

Specially trained marksmen will carry out the cull, but feeding sows will be spared.

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