ROME, Italy: Rome is currently struggling with an invasion of garbage-eating wild boars, as groups of 10 to 30 animals becoming a daily sight in the city.
Increasingly, boars of all sizes emerge from the large parks surrounding the city and walk down its traffic-clogged streets in search of food from overflowing garbage bins.
Fed-up Romans are now capturing images of the boars on social media, as they walk past city shops and playgrounds.
Additionally, the wild boar invasion has been used as a political weapon to attack Mayor Virginia Raggi over the city’s garbage collection problems, prior to a local election next weekend, but experts said that the issue is more complicated.
According to Coldiretti, Italy’s main agriculture lobby, there are over 2 million wild boars in Italy, with the region of Lazio surrounding Rome containing between 5,000 to 6,000 boars.
In 2019, Lazio launched a program to capture and slaughter the boars, and last month it approved a new decree to allow selective hunting in certain parks.
However, the region must increase the boar cull from 700 over two years to at least 1,000 per year, said Maurizio Giubbiotti, who manages Lazio’s parks.
In Italy’s rural areas, hunting wild boar is a popular sport, but animal rights groups are opposed to mass culling, which increasingly is an opinion not shared by many city residents.
“We have been invaded here. It is not a pleasant situation,” said Rome restaurant owner Pino Consolati, as quoted by the Associated Press.
Wild boars can weigh up to 220 pounds, reach 2.6 feet in height and measure 5 feet in length.