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Wild pigs have taken over the Israeli city of Haifa during the lockdown

Wild pigs have taken over the Israeli city of Haifa during the lockdown

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While coronavirus closures are coaxing wildlife into the abandoned streets of many a metropolis, in one Israeli city the wild pigs are assertive and, well, quite boorish.

Reuters reports wild boars, some as bulky as Rottweilers and traveling in family packs, have been trotting through Haifa in increasing numbers. Their once-nocturnal visitations now take place throughout the day, as they root through refuse, spook domestic pets and even block roads. The visitation, since nationwide lockdowns came into effect this month, has revived debate among residents of the hilly port city as to policy regarding the pests.

A growing concern

The municipality last year suspended culls of the boars, whose urban incursions, some experts say, are a response to human expansion into their natural habitat. Less sympathetic city folk – especially religious Jews or Muslims who consider pigs ritually unclean – worry that the larger, tusked animals could turn violent.

For now, residents must turn to “pig patrols” made up of volunteer animal-rights activists who can be summoned at all hours to shoo the boars away.

Also read: Showing love during the time of social distancing: Facebook’s care emoji

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