Wild boar (Sus scrofa)

Brief background:

Weight: males - up to 250 kg, females - up to 150 kg
Length: males – up to 210 cm; at withers up to 120 cm, females – up to 170 cm; at withers up to 95 cm
Sexual maturity age: males ~ at 3 years of age, females - at 1.5 years of age
Mating time: November-December
Gestation period: 114–140 days
Number of offspring: 3–12, born in April, May (could also occur earlier or considerably later)
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Natural predators: wolves, less frequently - foxes (for squeakers), lynx, bears
Status of the species in Latvia: A widely distributed and very common species throughout the entire territory of Latvia. According to the data of the State Forest Service for 2019, the population of wild boars in Latvia is approximately 20,000 individuals.

Where do they live? Mixed and deciduous tree forests are places with the highest chances of meeting a wild boar, as well as forest areas with pronounced undergrowth and a wet area nearby. Wild boars enjoy various agricultural crops, for instance, potatoes, corn and spring cereals.

How do they live? Wild boars are herd animals. Only older male boars beyond the mating period are solitary animals. During the mating period or wedding, male boars show signs of attention and share their genetic material with multiple ladies. In spring the small squeakers with longitudinal lines and rather well developed body are born. The juvenile boars are quick to learn how to find food and gradually become more and more independent and more similar to their adult relatives. The sows of wild boar closely watch over and protect their young - the young mothers may even attack people to protect their piglets.

What do they eat? Wild boars are pronounced omnivores – this means that they really eat almost everything! Starting from various roots, tubers and plants (including seeds and fruit) to worms, insect maggots, larvae, snails and other invertebrates and finishing with vertebrates, small mammals, reptiles, birds and eggs, dead and injured animals, as well as young animals.

Usually wild boars obtain their food from topsoil by digging it up with their strong snoots and tusks.

Did you know?

  • Wild boar is a very old species that appeared more than 60 million years ago.
  • Wild boar is the predecessor of domestic pigs.
  • There are 16 subspecies of wild boar.
  • Wild boars are biungulates – when walking, they evenly distribute the weight between the two principal toes (the third and the fourth).
  • In comparison with other biungulates, wild boar has the best reproductive capacity.  
  • Wild boars do not perspire.
  • Wild boars create special mud baths or wallowing areas to get rid of parasites, promote the replacement of excess hair and cool down.
  • Wild boars are comparatively good swimmers.
  • The piglets of wild boars are covered with light horizontal lines, which gradually disappear within three to four months.
  • The spotted fur of piglets helps them hide in the spotted landscapes of the forests.
  • The tusks of wild boars grow during their entire life and are regularly sharpened as the jaws move and tusks are ground against each other.
  • The tusks are used to dig the topsoil in search of food and as the main weapon in mutual conflicts.
  • Wild boars have an outstanding sense of smell. They can smell the food in the soil up to 10 centimetres deep.
  • The herds are usually led by the dominant sow.
  • To protect their piglets, sows can even attack people.
  • Wild boars have been exposed to a very contagious untreatable disease - African swine fever.
  • Wild boar is the animal of the Spanish autonomous community of Navarre and the province of Tokyo.
  • Wild boars were introduced to Australia, North America and South America for hunting purposes.
  • Wild boars are intelligent animals with good memory.
  • Wild boars are popular game animals.
  • Wild boar is a sign of the Chinese zodiac (year of the pig).
  • In the cultures of many people wild boar is associated with militancy, courage, stamina and strength.
There are three agile wild boars residing at the Līgatne Nature Trails