As Romans go to the polls to elect a new mayor of Rome, wild boar have put the current incumbent in a prickly position. Virginia Raggi says the animals are being used against here and puts the blame squarely on the region of Lazio.
A group of wild boar strut along Via Trionfale, a busy road in Rome’s northern suburb of Monte Mario. Their presence is seen by residents as an indication of Rome’s degrade (decay).
The scene, shared on social media, prompted jokes such as Rome introducing “wild boar lanes” instead of cycle lanes.
Exasperated residents are going to the polls on 3rd and 4th October, but will the boar really make a difference?
Nothing new seeing boar in the city
There’s nothing new when it comes to boar sightings in Rome. They are often seen rummaging through the rubbish.
Last week wild boar moved among parents waiting outside a school in the Monte Mario district. The animals were also recently photographed outside Italy’s foreign ministry.
In May, a group of hungry boar surrounded a woman in the car park before stealing her shopping bags.
Raggi wants a second term as mayor
Virginia Raggi, a politician with the Five Star Movement, is hoping to win a second term as mayor. However, she is despite frequently under attack over the city’s management.
She blames leaders of the surrounding Lazio region for what she described as “the massive and uncontrolled presence of wild boar in Italy’s capital.” She recently began legal proceedings against the regional authority over the matter.
As her political opponents seized on the latest sighting of boar, she said: “My detractors continue to use photos and videos of wild boar around Rome, giving me full responsibility.
“It is clear that wild boar are a problem that does not only concern the capital. If a lady is chased by a wild boar in Formello, the next day the newspapers say I am responsible.”
Rubbish, graffiti and uncared for parks
Rome’s decay has been around for years – rubbish-strewn streets, potholes and historic buildings scarred by graffiti. There was some improvement in Rome’s upkeep during the pandemic. However, as people return to the city the problems have arisen again.
Raggi was elected mayor in June 2016 on the promise of resolving all the deeply entrenched issues and making Rome “liveable again”.
Polls this week placed her in third place among four contenders.