Wild Boars in Circeo

Chillin’ in Rome right now (also, I’m writing this post from my phone, so sorry if it’s not very articulate). Yesterday I visited the Natural Park of Mount Circeo, which is part of the MAB (Man And Biosphere), a programme aimed at biodiversity conservation and management all around the world. I visited the forest portion of the park, and it’s beautiful, with enormous trees and a tipically mediterranean vegetation. Parts of the forest are partially flooded with water, especially during autumm, creating vast natural pools. Also, for the first time ever, I had a face to face with a group of wild boars (Sus scrofa), four huge, fearsome looking individuals. At first I thought they were inside an enclosure like the other animals at the entrance of the park, then I realized there was no real fence between me and them: they just entered the garden of the building of the park rangers to find something to eat. When we stopped the car (we where about to leave the park after a brief excursion by foot) they stared at us for a few seconds and then quickly disappeared in the forest (so I have no photos of the encounter, sadly). Boars are fascinating animals, but in many areas they can be a real problem, ecologically and economically: they are present in vast numbers, and can badly damage endangered vegetation and crops. The forest of Circeo was full of the holes they dig in search of roots and bulbs, for example, and the hills near Bologna, my city, are even worse in some areas.

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