A surveillance video from HAIFA (VG) captures just that:
A 14-year-old girl was walking home from school with her friend.
A heavy bundle of muscle rushes toward them from a side street.
The wild boar chases her and attacks her.
– She was pushed to the ground and injured her leg and back, her father tells Viji.
The daughter was hospitalized and received a rabies vaccine.
She says she is so traumatized by the incident that she does not want to be interviewed. They demand that something be done.
– We love animals, but the situation has become complicated and dangerous. It could have ended a lot worse, he says.
Palm trees and crystal blue The sea welcomes visitors to the Mediterranean city of Haifa in northern Israel.
The city is surrounded by hilltops, small parks and valleys – one of the things that residents love most about this city.
Diversity also makes the city unique.
Here, Palestinians and Israelis live side by side, and most of the immigrants are from Russia and Ukraine.
But Idili has been put to the test over the years.
Exactly when Wild boars begin to take over the city, and there is disagreement. Some residents say a large forest fire outside Haifa in 2016 destroyed the wild boars’ natural habitat.
Others believe the coronavirus pandemic and social shutdown have made the city easy prey for animals.
This also indicates that wild boars are almost free to forage for food from garbage cans during the day.
Some see the animals as a curious addition to the city, and proof that animals and humans can live side by side.
But to critics Is this a problem that needs to be solved? Soon.
Many point to Balikada Mayor Einat Kalisch-Rotem, who banned the shooting of animals in 2019.
Dan Malkinson, a researcher at the University of Haifa, has been studying wild boar in the city. In 2020, he set up cameras to find out how many animals were actually roaming around.
He concluded that there were 500 to 600 animals in Haifa, and that the density of animals was five times higher than in the wild.
– This is estimated to be a very high concentration, he tells VG.
Research shows it doesn’t do much to shoot animals when they reproduce quickly, Mulkinson says. He also doesn’t believe climate change is the cause of the increase.
Instead we humans have taken over nature more and more.
– People are more likely to encroach on their habitats and provide them with plenty of food and water before the animals eventually adapt to human presence and change their behavior.
1328 observations Wild boars were reported to authorities in Haifa in 2019, a 40 percent increase over 2015.
No one knows how many there are now. The city council did not want to release updated figures.
– I liked them, but now they destroy everything around. I have friends who are afraid to leave their homes.
14-year-old Leon Steinfer never thought he would become a victim.
A few months ago, he was coming home from school. He had a carrier bag with groceries in his left hand. Right, he was holding his mobile phone because he saw some wild boars near his house. Now he wanted to send a video of wild animals to his friends.
But wild boars don’t run. One of them starts tearing into the carrier bag.
– I tried to run, but it punched me in the stomach, so I fell to the ground.
– I was so scared, there were four wild boars around me.
A few other youths from the school came to the rescue and escaped from the wild boars.
Leon received injuries to both his back and stomach and is now one of those who prefers a wild boar-free town. Because fear has settled in the body. He runs every time he comes home from school.
– They roam around like it’s their home. They look big and clumsy, but they are very fast.
Wild boars can reach speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour.
is in the neighborhood The entrance of wild boars is clearly visible. Garbage bins are fixed with chains and fences are erected around parks and valleys.
But behind Leon’s house, a family of wild boars is camping.
At night he hears them rustling in the brambles.
– They make noise, especially when they argue about food. They keep me awake.
But that’s not all In Israel they fight wild boar.
In Berlin, about 3,000 wild boars are shot each year, and in Texas, they are shot by helicopter.
Wild boars are also on the way back in Norway after being extinct several thousand years ago. Now the population is increasing again, but the wild boar is defined as an alien species and should not be protected. Hence hunting is allowed throughout the year throughout the country.
The animals initially did not thrive in the cold winters, but as climate change warms Norway, populations are expected to increase.
Several studies have indicated that wild boar may have one Positive It has an impact on the biological diversity of the area and can create habitat for other species as well.
Large villas One of the most civilized parts of Haifa is spread over a hillside. A large yellow warning sign with a picture of a wild boar is planted along the sidewalk.
A woman strolls with a Chihuahua wearing a pink collar.
– I see them every night. Then I run scared, she says.
It’s nearing midnight, but wild animals are still conspicuous by their absence.
But the sound of cloven hooves against bare asphalt is the first to be heard.
Dark shadows of some beasts rushing into the village. Animals weighing 250 kg are looking for food.
– They are mostly harmless. But they make noise and it’s scary when I walk my dog, says Simon, 38.
Then rush home.
Residents’ fears persist. Many have started walking with canes to protect themselves. Others say they are at home.
But some people act.
Because four wild boars were grazing in the meadow beyond the villas when suddenly a white car came at a furious speed.
It targets the animals and suddenly brakes just before the animals run for their lives.
Then the driver accelerates and disappears as soon as it arrives.
– I think we should kill them! This is how we regain control. But we also need to get rid of the litter on the streets, says Sarit Golan Steinberg.
He sits on the city council in Haifa and hopes the mayor changes tactics and allows wild boar shooting.
– Due to the lack of security in public places, people above 70 years of age do not come out of their homes in the evening. People have stopped jogging, she says, and children are scared on their way to school.
He is an opposition politicianAnd the mayor believes he is allowing himself to be controlled by animal welfare activists.
She herself claims that animal rights activists have issued death threats.
– “You are a murderer” they shouted at me. You get what you deserve! “
But it is not only in politics that wild boars create conflict.
In 2021 Two people are separated In Haifa there was a disagreement over whether and how to get rid of the wild boars that were destroying their gardens.
– I like wild boar. They are nice, pleasant and never cause problems. They are the best neighbors you could ever want.
Anna Kubinska is one of those people who really love animals.
On a dark January night, she shows Viji searching for wild boar in the winding streets of Haifa.
– I am never afraid, but I take some precautions. I move slowly and try not to get too close to a sow with cubs.
She says seeing one of the animals is one of the biggest thrills in her life.
– It’s great to see wild animals in the city.
– Half the town loves them, that one The other half of the town hates them.
She points the way to the edge of a residential area, to a valley below.
After crawling around the bushes for a while, she and her friend had to give in the evening.
But she hopes to see them again soon.
– I mean they are part of the city, they are our signature, she says.
Also check out these videos about unruly wild boars:
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