Finally, the local hunt succeeded in shooting the enormous boar which has been causing us so much trouble: rootling up trees, pulling down restanque walls to search for bulbs, and uprooting plants. We’ve had twelve trees uprooted this autumn, which is heart-breaking to see. Wild pigs do it by mistake. What happens is this: the trees are watered in the summer, beetles lay eggs in the damp soil, especially in rotting bits of wood, and by autumn the larvae are a nice, tasty morsel, the size of a fat finger… yum yum! The boar rootles around in the earth and the bigger pigs push and tear at the roots which small trees can’t withstand. Then, as the tree comes up, it’s a case of, “Oops, sorry, a slip of my nose, yer honour!”
He was a big male boar of 134 kgs, almost a record for the village, certainly for decades, and much rosé was consumed in celebration. The man who shot the boar, in the photo, is a local fireman. The other photos show the same beast a couple of years ago, coming up to drink at one of our drinking troughs, which we put out to stop the boars eating our watering system pipes.
So far this season, the village hunt has shot 46 wild pigs… and still there is damage being caused. Those with a faint heart, don’t worry, these animals double their population in a summer, which is why the cull is so important.