Rome wild boar join kids at school gates

Wild boar become election issue in Rome.

Rome's wild boar are back in the news again after a dozen of the tusked animals showed up among children and parents outside a school in a northern suburb of the city on Thursday morning.

The cinghiali walked through families waiting for the school bell to ring on Via della Tenuta di S. Agata in the Monte Mario district, reports online newspaper RomaToday which published footage of the incident.

Parents outside the school, which caters to kindergarten children up to high-school students, described the situation as "absurd and dangerous." 

The group of boar comprised four large adults accompanying younger animals, witnesses told RomaToday, with the cinghiali then walking calmly through beeping traffic on Via Trionfale.

There is nothing new about wild boar in the city's northern suburbs such as Monte Mario where they were recently photographed outside Italy's foreign ministry at the Farnesina.

The growing population and "anti-social" activity of the wild boar poses problems for authorities, motorists and residents in the capital.

In recent years cinghiali have discovered that it is easier to rifle through the city's trash than go foraging for food in the woods; there are also reports of people feeding the animals.
The boar can be extremely dangerous to humans if approached when there are young cinghiali present, and they have also caused traffic accidents.

In May wild boar "mugged" a woman outside a supermarket in a rural area north of Rome, relieving her of her shopping bags and eating the contents.

A year ago there was uproar when authorities killed a family of cinghiali in a playground near the Vatican, leading to a blame game between municipal and regional bodies over who is actually in charge of keeping the animals' population in check.

So who exactly is in charge of the Rome's wild boar? The answer is complex, with multiple agencies involved, complicated further by animals moving in between public and privately-owned land.

Earlier this month Rome mayor Virginia Raggi initiated legal proceedings against the surrounding Lazio regional government over the "massive and uncontrolled presence" of wild boar in the capital, accusing the region of failing to implement “effective management plans for these animals.”

Wild boars are now an electoral issue as Romans set to vote for a new mayor in elections on 3-4 October.

Photo RomaToday