Boars started returning to the Italian countryside towards the end of WW1. Photo by iStock.

Over the past ten years, Italy’s population of wild boars has risen from 600,000 to 1 million, with Genoa, capital of the Liguria region, one of the places most affected.

It is estimated that for every 10 square kilometers of land in Genoa there are 25 boars. “Rewilding” campaigns, aimed at returning areas of neighboring countryside to less-developed states, have brought woodlands closer to the city, blurring the lines between rural and urban areas, The Conversation reported.

Wild boars have been at least partly to blame for a number of road accidents in the region, and younger boars tend to attack dogs and have been known to attack humans. Genoa city council has proposed various solutions to tackle the problem, from forced removals, sterilization to hunting approvals. In 2018, about 90 wild boars were put down.

Despite general displeasure with the boars’ emergence, animal rights groups have repeatedly opposed and even obstructed action by the authorities aimed at addressing the problem. The groups have, on occasion, even sent patrols to look after the wild animals.

The wild boar, a native European life form, began to disappear during the 18th and 19th centuries due to changes in habitat as well as human development and hunting. It is believed that military movements in southeast France during the First World War brought boars back to Italy.

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