Dogs and hunters at risk from wild boar attacks in Sweden

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One of the protective vests that can help dogs against wild boar attacks. Photo: Tomas Lindberg/Swedish RadioIt is now hunting season for moose, but hunters out in the woods are, themselves, becoming more likely to get attacked – by wild boars – says Carl Gustav Sivertsson, who is a vetenarian at Växjö animal hospital. In January, a hunter was hospitalized after being attacked by a wild boar outside the town of Gislaved.

It is often the hunter’s dog that draws a boar onto its owner. When a dog faces off against a  boar, it will run back for support, and the boar follows. The boar can then attack the hunter by running between his or her legs – and the bites can also be very nasty.

Three-hundred years ago, hunters killed all the wild boars in Sweden. But in the 1970s tame boars broke out of their cages and spread across the country. There are now possibly a hundred-thousand of these large animals in the countryside. An adult male is usually twice as heavy as a human: almost 200 kilos.

Veterinarian Carl Gustav Sivertsson says that some hunters use protection – trousers reinforced with bulletproof kevlar. It is even possible for hunters to clothe their hounds in protective clothing.

Sivertsson says that two dogs are in the animal hospital right now for injuries from wild boar.

He says that the dogs that get into the most trouble are usually the young, unexperienced ones, and also the older hunting hounds, who sometimes cannot get away in time.

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