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Boar to be Wild

Posted by: Nick Redfern on January 28th, 2013

Wild Boar

Over at Mania.com, there’s a new Lair of the Beasts article from me. And here’s how it starts:

“The life of a cryptozoologist doesn’t just resolve around quests to find Bigfoot, lake-monsters, the Chupacabras, the Abominable Snowman, or sea-serpents. Sometimes, it involves a search for known animals seen in locations in which they have no business hanging out. A perfect case in point: the wild boar of Britain.

“Between their centuries-old extinction in the British Isles (or, some might very well argue, their presumed extinction) and the 1980s, when wild boar farming began in earnest in Britain, only a handful of captive wild boar, imported from the continent, are known to have been present in the country.”

And if you’re interested in learning more about the British boar, then read on…

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.


3 Responses to “Boar to be Wild”

  1. DWA responds:

    Here in the States, we have boar in many places; they are regarded as nuisances in virtually all of them. (And as prize game by many, so there you are.)

    Of course we have a major difference from Britain: they were never native here. But in the long run our habitat may be more sustainable. When boar were originally wild to Britain there were natural predators and more forage to go around. But the large population in Berlin, Germany, among other places, shows how adaptable they are. (Our garbage, a big factor.)

    It has always seemed odd to me that an animal that has gotten on so well in the States wasn’t ever a historic native. We have bears deer bison wolves wildcats and other animals, with the differences one might expect from those now resident in Europe but basically the same. Why no native pigs? Anyone know and want to share?

    (Apparently the same thing happened with horses, although that might be another thread.)

  2. Sordes responds:

    It´s perhaps easy to explain why there aren´t any true suids native to the american continent. Peccaries of course are there, but they belong to another family, and they reached the american continent already around 3 Million years ago. Probably european wild boars did never colonize the north american continent via the Bering Land Bridge, because they did not occur so far north. Even in their european distribution area, they occur only in some parts of Southern Scandinavia, but not farther north. If you look at this map with their original distribution area (areas in which they were later introduced are blue), including the British Isles, you can see they were always far away from the area where the Bering Bridge was:

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sus_scrofa_range_map.jpg

    In times with colder climate, their distribution area extended ever lesser to the north.

  3. DWA responds:

    Sordes: thanks.

    There are other cases I suppose one can think of. Lynx occur in both NA and Eurasia, quite similar to one another; the NA bobcat, however, doesn’t range far enough north. The puma doesn’t get far enough; the mountain goat (and chamois) don’t; the NA black bear might in the strict sense, but is a forest animal and there was probably not enough suitable habitat in Beringia; the NA wood bison and wisent are similar but the plains bison is only in NA; etc.

    Not to introduce sasquatch (I have a bad tendency to do that); but for the “Giganto hypothesis” to hold water, they must range far enough north. A recent spate of Arctic NA sightings has received resistance from those who don’t consider that sufficient habitat for such an animal; but then one has to have that alternate explanation, which no one has advanced yet. Now, I’m not sure what the northernmost finding of Giganto remains is.



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