Threat to shoot Berlin′s laptop-stealing wild boar causes outrage | News | DW | 17.08.2020
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Threat to shoot Berlin's laptop-stealing wild boar causes outrage

Thousands of people have signed a petition against the culling of a wild boar that recently caused a sensation. Images of a naked man chasing the creature that had run off with his bag were widely shared on social media.

Some 4,000 Berliners signed a petition to prevent a wild boar being culled for safety reasons after authorities declined to rule out the possibility.

The sow, along with two piglets, was seen being chased by a naked man after it stole a bag containing his laptop earlier this month.

Images of the naked sunbather unashamedly chasing after them went viral on social media.

The bizarre scene played out at Teufelessee, a popular Berlin lake, where nude sunbathing is permitted.

Wild boar cullings

Local authorities had vowed to keep a close eye on the pilfering porker and other wild boars to see if they posed a danger to the public. They had declined to rule out the animal being culled.

"If there are special dangers for humans or animals in places such as the bathing area at Teufelssee, appropriate measures must be taken to avert these dangers," said Berlin state forestry office spokesman Marc Franusch.

The creatures are regularly culled by licensed hunters in Germany to keep numbers down and to fend off diseases, such as African swine fever.

Every year, 1,000 to 2,000 wild boars are shot in Berlin.


Pigging out

Wild boars often venture into residential areas looking for food, as appeared to be the case during this month's burgling boar incident, and have been known to attack humans.

"If people bring food to the lake, the animals can smell it from as far as 1,000 meters away," said Derk Ehlert of the Berlin Senate Department for the Environment. The wild boars are probably used to eating food in plastic bags, said Ehlert.

The Berlin official added just one request to dwellers of the German capital: "Please don't leave your garbage or food by the water or forest."

Read more: Berlin and beyond: Who needs a bikini?

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kw/aw(AFP, dpa)