Animals Nature

Wild Boar

baby wild boar

The wild boar is native to North Africa and Eurasia and has been introduced into North America and Oceania.  Wild swine and wild pig are common pseudonyms for the boar.  The word boar comes from the Old English word bār and the West Germanic bair.  It sometimes is used to identify males.  Sow is used for females.  The young are called boarlets or piglets

Sixteen subspecies are split into four regional groupings.  The Eastern subspecies have thick underfur.  The mane is often absent.  A white streak runs along the lower jaw to the corners of the mouth.  Most are high-skulled.  Indonesian boars have thin body hair and no underwool.  A wide red band runs from the muzzle down the side of the neck.  A long mane flows.  The group has the smallest brain size of the four.  High-skulled, thick underfur and unkempt short manes are found in the Western group.  The Indian grouping features bands along the mouth and nose.  They have no underwool.

Wild boars are stout with thin legs.  The head is large and encompasses a third of the entire body length.  The skull is suited for digging and acts as a plough.  A powerful neck propels the design.  The animal can unearth almost four inches of frozen ground.  Rocks weighing up to one hundred ten pounds are tossed aside.  The ears are long and wide.  The eyes are inset and small.  Industrial canine teeth are visible.

wild boar 1
Wild Boar – Photo Credit: Rushen!


Males have stronger teeth than females.  A mane falls down their back.  The females are up to ten percent smaller and twenty to thirty percent lighter than the boys.  The location and environment determine the final mass.  European boars weigh up to three hundred pounds in the east.  Mediterranean variants weigh one hundred pounds.  Central and western Europe is home to four hundred forty-pound males and two hundred sixty-pound females.  Asian boars can reach the size of a brown bear and average six hundred pounds. 

Animals close to eight hundred pounds have been formally recorded in Manchuria and Russia.  Modern overhunting has decreased the likeliness of the phenomenon.  Winter fur is formed from long rough bristles on top of short and soft brown fur.  The bristles are shallow near the face and limbs.  They are dense along the back.  The colors are diverse.  Some wild boars are white and some are black.  Others have light patches of color near the mouth and down their back. Some do not. Others are brown.  The shade of the coat varies with age.

The omnivore is versatile and consumes food from four categories.  Bulbs, roots, tubers and rhizomes are dined on throughout the year.  Seeds, nuts and berries are eaten when they are ripe or dug from the snow.  Leaves, shoots, twigs, bark and garbage are fair game at all times.  Frogs, snakes, eggs, lizards, insects, fish, rodents, mollusks and carrion are prey during the warm months.  A one-hundred-and-ten-pound boar needs four to four thousand five hundred calories a day to survive.

wild boar
Wild boar roaming – Photo Credit: adkorte

Wild Boar Social Life

Females dominate the social circles. Baby males depart after a year.  Sows remain with the matriarch.  Some create their own territory.  The teen bachelors live together.  They split when they reach adulthood.  They return for the breeding season.  It lasts from November to January.  Males can mate with five to ten females.  Gestation lasts under five months.  Four to six piglets are born on average.  Ten to twelve is the max.

The young stay in the lair for their first week.  They leave during the next.  Camouflage helps the piglets survive danger.  The fur changes after three months.  Coloration forms after eight.  Female sexual maturity is reached after one year.  It takes the boys an additional three hundred and sixty-five days.  Wild boars have a lifespan of ten to fourteen years.  Most perish before their fifth birthday.  Captive boars can endure for two decades.

mom and child wild boars
Piglets with their mother – Photo Credit: Jarosław Pocztarski

Scientific Classification

Family: Suidae
Species:S. scrofa

Wild Boar Subspecies

S. s. libycus Anatolian boar (Turkey and Levant)
S. s. vittatus Banded pig (Indonesia and Malaysia)
S. s. attila Carpathian boar (Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Transcaucasia, and Iran)
S. s. davidiCentral Asian boar (Pakistan, India and Iran)
S. s. scrofaCentral European boar (Europe and Asia)
S. s. taivanus Formosan boar (Taiwan)
S. s. cristatus Indian boar (India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka)
S. s. leucomystaxJapanese boar (Japan)
S. s. majori Maremman boar (Italy)
S. s. meridionalis Mediterranean boar (Sardinnia, Corsica and Andalusia)
S. s. nigripes Middle Asian boar (Asia and Middle East)
S. s. algira North African boar (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia)
S. s. moupinensis Northern Chinese boar (Vietnam and China)
S. s. riukiuanus Ryukyu boar (Ryukyu Islands)
S. s. sibiricus Trans-Baikal boar (Mongolia)
S. s. ussuricusUssuri boar (Ussuri and China)
baby wild boar
A baby wild boar – Photo Credit: Tambako the Jaguar

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