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The wild boar is back in Ireland.

Extinct wild boar returns to Ireland

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The wild boar is back in Ireland.

Biodiversity Ireland has received numerous reported sightings of wild boars this year in Ireland – despite the fact that the animal has been extinct in Ireland since the Middle Ages.

Boars and their litters have been spotted in Wicklow, Kilkenny and Tipperary.

Speaking to the Irish Times, Invasive Species Ireland expressed their concern that the boar could "expand unchallenged" in Ireland.

The Irish wolf was traditionally the boar’s natural predator, but with its absence in the natural habitat, the boar is free to roam the green fields of Ireland.

Coillte manages Ireland's forests and nature reserves, and their wildlife and game manager Barry Coad says the problem is "quite widespread throughout the country".

A 396 lb boar was shot just beside a school playground in South Tipperary this year. Coad personally captured nine boars in Kilkenny and Wicklow. According to Coad, the boar poses a threat to Ireland's agriculture.

The animal is renowned for uprooting native flora and spreading disease amongst farm animals.
   
"I think it is a serious concern for agriculture and also there is potential for spreading disease,” continued Coad.

Pat Scully, Chairman of the Wild Deer Association of Ireland, says that some members have encountered wild boar when hunting.

Scully knows that the animal can be imported with a license and he is aware of people that keep the animal as a pet.

"There are some in captivity and I assume it is a safe assumption that some would escape,” he said.

The wild boar features prominently in several Ancient Irish myths. Fionn Mac Cumhaill was a legendary Celtic warrior, and it is said that he lured his enemy Diarmuid Ua Duibhne to a gory death by a wild boar.

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