Monday, September 22, 2008


Another large animal we have in the area is the sanglier, or wild boar. Gay and I used to, when running in the woods, come across herds of these – 20 or 30 – adults and young. We stopped or retreated until the herd had moved on because they can be very, very dangerous. The males in particular typically weigh 200 kgs and they can weigh 300 kgs - that's more than 4 times my weight! They are extremely strong and fast, they have those huge tusks and they can do a lot of damage to a human being or a car.

We also frequently see them in the fields or crossing the roads.

When we were taking my daughter and her husband to the airport recently, early in the morning, while it was still dark, I had to brake because a boar was crossing the road not far in front of us. Just as well I slowed, because another boar decided to follow the first, about 5 metres in front of the car. I had to brake very sharply to avoid hitting it.

I have also seen the sangliers while I was out on foot. In the hunting season of course. I heard dogs barking and people shouting in some woods down below the road I was walking along. A bit further on I could see the edge of these woods. A boar burst out into the field, crossed it, climbed the bank, crossed the road in front of me and went into another field and away. The barking and shouting continued in the woods – the hunters obviously not realising their prey had escaped. It is not the only one I have seen at close quarters on the road.

We have been told that in France there are four million sangliers. In this department alone – Aude – there were 10,000 killed in the last hunting season, so you can see how widespread they are.

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