101 boars – well, 14 actually

Written by Lucy Brzoska

An hour before twilight, deep in Collserola, I was sitting at the side of a track, eating an apple. I lobbed the core behind me without a second thought. Some moments later, there were rustlings and quiet grunts, but nothing to see.  They then started emerging onto the track, small boars, more and more of them, like a version of 101 Dalmatians.  In fact there were 12, accompanied by two female adults.

track fills with young boars

One of the females stood protectively in front of the youngsters, planted squarely in the middle of the track, looking straight towards us.

female boar in collserola

The young ones, recently grown out of their baby stripes, were herded to the other side and up the opposite bank.

large number of young boars

Then I saw him, the proud owner of my apple core, trotting along, closely followed by a rival, whose short mane was bristling in frustration.

two young boars

Two of the frisky young boars came over to sample Stephanie’s walking sticks, before they all disappeared into the undergrowth again.  

curious young boars

Heavenly mud

Written by Lucy Brzoska

During the recent years of drought, in parched, dusty Collserola, life was more of a struggle for the boars.  Their long muscular snouts found the ground unyielding, and food supplies dwindled. And for an animal that can’t sweat, damp places to cool off were few and far between.

But the continuous rainfall this winter has restored streams that had run dry.  The water took a long time to seep through, but finally springs I’ve never seen working have woken up.  And for the boars, apart from making their ploughing a lot easier, there are now plenty of muddy puddles to bathe in.

Mud also makes walks in Collserola more interesting.  Signs conjure up nocturnal scenes we’re not privy to. We can see where the boars habitually rub their flanks on the rough pine trees after a satisfying wallow.

And two-toed hoof marks proliferate.

In a stream just below a narrow road in Vallvidrera, opposite a row of houses, a boar was satiating its thirst and rooting in the soft mud. Tiny eyes contrasted with large hairy ears and snout – reflecting weak sight but sharp senses of hearing and smell.

It was a typical Collserola periphery boar: used to living alongside people.  Hopefully, it wouldn’t venture too far across the boundary.  (See previous post for boar problems in Collserola.)