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Laptop-stealing boar of Berlin could be shot

Kate Martyr
August 14, 2020

Last week, a video of a naked man chasing a wild boar that had run off with his bag went viral. The plucky pig is part of a growing boar population that could be culled amid safety fears.

Wild boar walk past a man at the Teufelsee nude beach
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/F. Gutierrez

The wild boar who starred in a viral video after stealing a bag at a Berlin beauty spot could be culled, local media reprorted Friday, as concerns grow over increasing interactions between the local wild boar population and humans.

The sow, who was filmed running away with a yellow bag containing a nudist bathers laptop and followed by her two piglets next to Teufelssee lake, would be "primarily taken" — meaning culled, Katja Kammer, head of the Grunewald forestry commission told public broadcaster rbb24.

Wild boars can be aggressive and carry diseases but they usually avoid people being naturally shy, explained Kammer. However, the coronavirus pandemic has seen many more people head outdoors for a socially-distanced summer, making it more difficult for boars to get their own space.

The boars were also attracted to the lake due to the extreme summer heat and the "huge amount" of litter left by bathers.

Once they have moved into an area, the wild pigs would not freely leave, meaning culling is the only option to reduce interactions between animals and humans, said Kammer.

"Fortunately there have not yet been any serious clashes between wild boars at Teufelssee," said Kammer.

Wild boar culling is business as usual to keep boar numbers under control in the 3,500 hectare Grunewald area where they have no natural predators, she added.

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A hog's hope

There is still some hope for the viral hog due to her being "an especially intelligent sow," according to Kammer.

While wild boar culling is legal, laws state that a mother boar with piglets under six months old cannot be shot.

Finally, her chosen home next to the lake could also save her, as hunters are banned from firing shots with so many people around.