The wild boar (sanglier) is very common in many parts of Beyond.The female is much smaller than a fully-grown male, and is more often seen in the springtime, with a brood of wee ones.
If you don't actually see the boars, you'll see signs of them on your walks through the woods: large areas of the ground torn up by the sangliers rooting for food. They also rub against small trees, wearing away the bark.
Male: 105-165 or 185 cm; 35-320 kg (avg 130 kg)
Female: 100-145 cm; 30-80 kg
The wild boar has a massif silhouette. Seen closer, it is a short-haired animal with a large head, short but sturdy legs and a fairly long tail. Coloring can be gey-brown, black-brown or redish brown. The male only developes tusks: canine teeth that extend upwards from the lower jaw.
A few years back, in the Berry region in the center of France, three men out walking in the woods ran across a large wild boar. Instead of running off, as they habitually do, the boar attacked one of the men. All three ran around, hiding behind trees, but the boar concentrated his attack on that single man, until it was finally driven off (or just got bored). It turned out that the man who was attacked was the only one of the three who was a hunter. (This is a true story.)
Leafy forests, nesting in a lair hollowed out of the ground or a thicket, often exposed to the sun. They forage in the woods and adjoining fields. Boar are active at night (nocturnal) or very-early morning, and sometimes during the day. Groups of boar stay in an area of about 200 to 1000 ha, with males extending the area up to 2000 ha. Their movements can vary according to seasons and certain years. When they're intruded upon, such as by hunters, they'll travel 20 to 30 km.
Omnivorous, but mainly vegetarian, especially acorns, beech-nuts, chestnuts, potatoes, corn and other cereals. Their non-vegetarian diet can be dead animals, insect larvae, earthworms, small rodents, lizards and ground-nesting birds.
Proliferation in the Var
In the department of the Var, sangliers have become so numerous they've been declared "vermin" (nuisibles) [Feb 1998]. In 1992 there were 3000; seven years later the count was at 30 000, in spite of 16-17 000 killed in the hunting season that ran from 17 Aug '97 to 18 Jan '98.
They mate from Sept to March, with the young born from Feb to June, especially in March. They sometimes have a second mating in July, with births from June to August. Gestation is normally 115 days (3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days), giving birth to 4-7, or possibly 3-10. They reach sexual maturity in a year, but young males are often excluded from reproduction by the dominant males.
From 8 to 10 years in the wild, with mortality of adults being caused mainly by hunters. The can live up to 20-25 years in captivity.