- in In Pictures
Elsa might now be the world’s most famous wild boar – and her celebrity has drawn a crowd of fans campaigning to save her from hunters.
Elsa is the name given to the sow who was chased by a German nudist in Berlin, after she snatched his plastic bag containing a laptop.
Pictures of the chase, in a popular bathing area, went viral. The boar managed to flee with her two piglets.
But officials do not rule out that she could be culled, with other boars.
The boars at Teufelssee – a lake in Berlin’s leafy Grunewald district – “have lost their normal timidity” around humans, according to the local forestry office manager Katja Kammer.
Speaking to Berlin broadcaster rbb24, she said the sow should be “removed” because there were too many wild boars there, which could get aggressive and could spread disease to humans, including swine fever. Removal, she added, did not mean relocation, because that would require an area to be fenced off.
As many as 2,000 wild boars are shot in Berlin annually, and the hunting season starts in autumn.
A Grunewald forestry spokesman, Marc Franusch, explained however that a sow with young piglets would not be culled – at least not until the piglets were old enough to fend for themselves.
“These are wild animals which deserve our respect and should not be fed,” he said.
People have been feeding the Grunewald boars with apples and sandwiches, rbb24 reports.
On Sunday, several campaigners demonstrated in Grunewald to save Elsa and her fellow boars.
An online petition on the campaign website change.org has picked up more than 9,000 signatures. It is called “Save the cheeky but peaceful sow of Teufelssee!”
The now famous photos of the laptop chase were taken by Adele Landauer, who said the nudist laughed off the whole incident.
The petition organiser, Jeanine Pasteleurs, argues that Elsa has been sharing her living space peacefully with humans for years.
She argues that the sow is not aggressive – as shown by the recent incident with the nudist.
“She had the strength to gravely injure that man and, from the sow’s point of view, every right to do so! But she didn’t!”
Germany saw another extraordinary incident recently involving a wild boar: one got lost and ended up swimming in the Baltic Sea. It was captured on amateur video when it appeared on a beach at Schönhagen, astounding sunbathers.
It charged at a man, who lunged at it with a shovel, as bystanders cried “let it run!”
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