Curfew imposed by residents in north of city as wild boar attacks increase. One woman was pushed to the ground in an attack on Sunday.
Residents in seven northern Rome neighbourhoods impose a nightly “curfew” after a spate of attacks by wild boar. The boar have been roaming the city for many years. which for years have roamed the Italian capital.
On Sunday, a woman was attacked as she walked her dog and took rubbish to the bin. She was knocked to the ground. In response to the attack, Rome authorities announced anti-boar measures, including fencing-off areas of natural park where the animals enter the city. They will also collect the rubbish more regularly, particularly bins in areas close to the animals’ main entrance points.
Boars attack when protecting young or food source
Massimo Vetturi, the director of the wild animals unit at the animal rights organisation LAV, said boar attacked humans only if they felt there was a threat to their offspring or source of food, The Guardian reported.
“These are the two critical elements that can unleash an attack, from any wild animal, not just boar,” he said. “But if a boar is close to an overflowing bin and a human approaches, it will act in a way to remove the threat to its essential food source. The real problem in Rome is that there has been no management of the problem.”
The woman attacked on Sunday said a boar “was on top of my head” after she was pushed to the ground. As a result, residents of Balduina and six other districts imposed an 8.30pm curfew.
Last year, the then mayor of Rome sues the local region over the invasion of wild boar. She cited “the massive and uncontrolled presence of wild boar in Italy’s capital”. Read more here.
“On the [social media] chats between people in the district, and especially in group chats between people who have dogs, it is advised not to go out after 8.30pm,” Gianluca Sabino, a Balduina resident, told La Repubblica newspaper. “Because at night, if somebody falls over or is hurt and nobody is around to help, then they could remain on the ground for who knows how long.”
Franco Quaranta, the president of a residents’ activist group in Aurelio, described the curfew as an act of “self-protection” by citizens because the authorities had failed to take effective measures. “This time the victim was an adult – but what if it happens to a child? With [the boars’] teeth, even just a bite to the leg is enough to jeopardise someone’s life,” he said.
Giovanni Mantovani, who runs a similar organisation in Monte Mario, said: “These animals are getting closer and closer to people, and it’s not just at night – they are walking the streets at all hours of the day.”
Sunday’s victim was Marta Santangelo, a psychotherapist. She was walking her dog and taking the rubbish out. “It was just before 11pm … I was carrying a bag of rubbish and by the bin I noticed boar cubs. The mother was fixating on me. I understood that maybe she was scared and so picked up my dog and ran for cover.”
But Santangelo said she was attacked by the mother boar and fell to the ground. “She was on my head … I screamed and my dog defended me. There were seven piglets close by but they didn’t attack.”
Santangelo was picked up by a motorist. She was taken to hospital and treated minor injuries to her face and knee.