In France the Sangliers or wild boar are indigenous, and a huge problem. Sanglier are even depicted in the cave paintings we saw in Lascaux that are thought to be over 20,000 years old, so in fact they have been here longer than the French!
The climate and natural forests in Provence, no natural predators, vineyards with lush ripe grapes, and fruit and vegetable gardens make it a paradise for the Sangliers.
They can breed from around 8 months old, and usually have 6-12 offspring. A full grown sanglier can be nearly 2 m in length, and weigh up to 150kg, they are scary, loud, and they love the figs that drop from the huge tree right outside our bedroom window here at Wild Olives.
They also love nosing around the wood pile, and most mornings we find the large rocks that line the driveway moved around where they have been looking for grubs or maybe the elusive black truffle. The garbage bin has to be lifted onto the roof of the car overnight (you only forget to do that once), otherwise they roll the bin around until they get the lid off. Very persistent!
They travel in groups, and we often see a mother and her four marcassins (babies) walking across the lower terrace when we are sitting outside in the early evening having our aperitif.
Hunting season has just started, at present it’s only with a bow, but next month the guns come out. Apparently they are good eating, and we do see Sanglier sausage at the market, but I think we will stick to beef, chicken and fish.
We don’t go for any moonlight strolls here, you can probably guess why.