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The Wild Boar of Glenloy…?

Evidence of wild boar. Credit: Glenloy Wildlife

Evidence of wild boar. Credit: Glenloy Wildlife

Wild Scotland member, Glenloy Wildlife based near Fort William has been seeing signs of wild boar and suspected that they may be living wild in the Glen. They had never seen one. That was until last season…

Here’s a great account from Glenloy Wildlife’s Jon Mercer on their attempts to see whether the wild boar of Glenloy really exist!

“Some six years ago, at least one population of wild boar, being bred for meat, escaped form their pen in the depths of Glen Dessary at the head of Loch Arkaig. Since then the pigs have spread, and judging by their most obvious spoor – large tracts of rooted verges looking like a plough has been used – they now range all the way from Loch Shiel in the south to Glen Shiel on the Road to Skye.

“For the last year the boar have been using Glen Loy extensively, and there is evidence of boar right through the glen, with our verges particularly well rooted (see picture). Other signs include footprints (good in snow), snout imprints, and more rarely, dung. Sightings are much harder to come by, however, and amount to little more than mythical glimpses of shapes amongst the mist.

“We have long had an ambition to track some of the boar down. As pigs are largely nocturnal locally (there is open-season on them, as undesirable aliens), this is best achieved with camera traps. We had just coincidentally placed our trap along the Glen Loy verge, when one of our neighbours rushed in with the news that he had seen a pig crossing the road on his way back home from work. A slight adjustment in positioning, and our trap finally produced the goods. We recorded shots over the next couple of nights and a video clip of a boar can be accessed from our website and our YouTube page.

The Wild Boar of Glen Loy. Credit: Glenloy Wildlife

Caught on camera! Wild boar near Glenloy, Lochaber. Credit: Glenloy Wildlife

“Boars are far from universally welcomed, as they can cause significant damage to croftland and gardens alike. Nevertheless they are a former resident of Scotland as evidenced by the many pace names that include the Gaelic word for pig (An Tuirc or Torc). Further north much has been made of a semi-captive herd held with ambitions for reintroduction.

“As with the Tay beavers it appears that wild boar have found their way back into the Scottish countryside, largely under their own steam, and have become an established part of the local ecosystem. Certainly without huge effort and expense they are here to stay, and we look forward to the day when we spot some whilst out with guests!”

You can read more about the wildlife of Glenloy and Lochaer in Glenloy Wildlife’s latest newsletter – available here.

For more information about Glenloy Wildlife’s holidays and short breaks, click here.

Here’s the video of the cheeky chappie:

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