Wild boars

Wild boars are known as the ’yobs’ of the forest.

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The Dutch term 'nozem,' which is rarely used these days, means something like 'spirited and confident'. Wild boars will go anywhere in search of food, but will flee at the slightest hint of danger. The park is home to some fifty wild boars.

The wild boar is the ancestor of most domestic pig breeds. The females, known as sows, live with their newborn piglets and last year's litter. The piglets from last year's litter are known as juveniles. Mature males, or boars, live alone and have impressive canine teeth, known as tusks. These tusks grow until the boar is four years old.

Wild boars are omnivores and will eat virtually anything. They eat acorns, nuts, tubers, and bulbs, but also worms, larvae, and sometimes rodents. The often root for their food on the forest floor, looking for anything edible. This churned earth can be found virtually everywhere in the park, particularly in the autumn when the boar are building up their fat stores for the winter.

During the summer months, the wild boars often suffer from parasites nestling in their fur. To get rid of them they roll around in the mud and, once dry, rub their fur against the bark of a tree. This scouring effect not only gets rid of the mud, but also the parasites.

The wild boar mating season is also known as the rut. This lasts from September to March. The piglets, also known as squeakers, are born between February and June, but most are born in March. A sow usually has four to seven piglets, but can have up to twelve, which corresponds perfectly with the number of nipples she has. The piglets are born with horizontal stripes and their fur is often referred to as pyjamas. The stripes disappear in three to five months.

Sows with young piglets often flee when they spot humans, but can become aggressive at times. Be sure to keep a safe distance and never get between a sow and her young.

Male weight:60-160 kg
Female weight:50-130 kg
Length:80-145 cm
Flank height:65-95 cm
Mating season (the rut):Nov/Dec/Jan
Gestation period:Approximately 115 days
Number of young:1-10
Name of adult male:Boar
Name of adult female:Sow
Name of young:Piglet or squeaker
Name of year-old boar:Juvenile