They have become a menace in European cities. In Barcelona, where wild boar are jostling tourists and raiding rubbish bins, the fightback has begun. By Bernhard Warner
Collserola Natural Park looms over Barcelona, rising to about 500 metres at the Tibidabo peak. This forested ridge effectively walls off the city’s growth. Collserola is rich with wildlife, home to more than 190 animal species. Overlooking a city of more than 20 million residents and tourists, it has become a battlefront between human and nature. On many a hot Catalan night, wild boar from Collserola, alone or in gangs, descend on the city and mingle with the human population carousing after hours.
The encounters between Barcelonan and beast are numerous, peaking in 2016 when police logged 1,187 phone calls about nuisance boars on the loose – wild hogs rooting up turf, munching trash, attacking dogs, plundering cat-feeders, holding up traffic and running into cars. For the past decade, Barcelona has been desperately searching for a way to keep the boar from colonising the leafy neighbourhoods – some home to footballers, bankers and celebrities – that back up against Collserola. The low point came in 2013 when a policeman shot at a boar with his service revolver, but hit and maimed his partner instead.Boar wars: how wild hogs are trashing European cities
The long read: They have become a menace in European cities. In Barcelona, where wild boar are jostling tourists and raiding rubbish bins, the fightback has begunwww.theguardian.com