Monthly Archives: April 2014

Special Feature: Do wild boars (Sus scrofa) belong in Britain?

THE NEWS IN BRIEF…

Killer boar? Photograph taken by Scott Passmore of the UK Wild Boar Association.

Killer on the loose? Photograph  courtesy of Scott Passmore of the UK Wild Boar Association.

If you follow British news you’ve probably heard about the escaped wild boar (Sus scrofa) in Bridgend, South Wales. The animals were being bred by a farmer in Maesteg, between Swansea and Cardiff. These were traditional wild boar, complete with tusks and spiny manes, not just ordinary (modern) pigs. Wild boar pork in the UK is considered a rare delicacy, and is supposed to have a much more gamey ‘wild’ taste than ordinary pig pork. The animals in question were released after a group broke into the property where they stole equipment and attacked the boar.

A group of boar is called a sounder, and the number of this sounder is quite high. According to the South Wales police, at least 21 have been released, although the breeder, Greg Davies is missing 42 (23 adults and 19 piglets) (South Wales Evening Post, April 28th 2014; BBC News, April 28th 2014).

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Sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in ‘Canu Heledd’ (the Singing of Heledd)

SUMMARY

sea eagle fishing

Sea eagle by Jacob Spinks. Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Species mentioned: Two bloodthirsty white tailed (sea) eagles (H. albicilla).

Source: ‘Canu Heledd’, a depressing but beautiful Welsh cycle of poetry.

Date of Source: Most likely c.850-900 A.D. but uncertain. Manuscript date: 1250.

Highlights: eagles eat the carrion of dead soldiers. Two eagles in particular seem to embody the genius loci (spirit of the place) where they live. They are seen in coastal woods, eating carrion and fish like real life sea eagles.

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