Wild boars are coming closer and closer to houses. This is particularly the case in the province of Namur where they cause great damage to individuals. For specialists, these boars lack food in this season, but they also seem, over time, less frightened by the presence of man.
“They crush the shell of the snail, they let the shell crumbs fall out and they eat the animal”, notes Éric Frolli, a snail breeder. Nearly 200 kilos of snails raised in a greenhouse in Anhée, in the province of Namur, were tasted by wild boars. They seem to like this dish. “Hunters had told me before that they had found snail shells eaten by wild boars in the woods. So I knew they liked snails. But they had never been here, and that I’ve been here for 35 years. It’s the first time”continues this breeder.
Coming from the neighboring woods, they do not hesitate to lift the plates to dislodge the gastropods which hide there “Last time he was in the middle of the aisle and when we started gesticulating and shouting he ran away. He jumped over and he went out the back. I don’t even know how did he manage to pass”says Eric.
In total, more than 1,500 euros of damage. “At first, the boars were rushing into the doors to get in. Then they realized that these are sliding doors so they search from side to side, and with their snout, they tilt the doors to open them and they come in. Then they go and help themselves”details the snail breeder.
Snail food, consisting of cereals, arouses the appetite of wild boars. “Before, it was a fearful animal, it is no longer the case. And when it has found a pantry, it will help itself whether we are there or not, and at any time of day or of the night.”
For this breeder, only one possible solution: “I think they should be slaughtered. For me, this is the best solution for these wild boars who are no longer afraid of humans”he believes.
On the Jambes side, still in Namur, the situation is the same: wild boars rip open garbage bags in the streets, for lack of food in their natural habitat. “It’s been a fairly complicated year in terms of food resources. There has been quite a bit of forest fruiting. And since wild boar are adaptable and flexible, they will look for food where they find it”explains Alain Licoppe, coordinator of the “Wildlife” unit of the Public Service of Wallonia (SPW).
Wild boars are less and less shy and they sometimes settle on the outskirts of cities. “Yes, the wild boar is a species that is quite capable of getting used to human presence quite quickly, as soon as it is not hunted”adds the coordinator of the “Wildlife” unit of the SPW.
Last season, more than 23,000 wild boars were slaughtered in Wallonia, or 94% of the target assigned to hunters. However, this seems insufficient to calm the appetite of the species.