Up to 1,500 wild boars are now roaming the historic streets of Krakow, one of the city’s deputy mayors has said.
Attracted by the easy eating opportunities Poland’s second largest city provides, the animals can pose a threat to public health, according to experts.
A task force set up to tackle Krakow’s boar problem estimates that their population is now between 1,000 and 1,500 on the 33,000 hectares the city covers.
Since April 1, around 400 wild boars have already been put down.
“There is a big problem in the urban agglomeration,” said Jerzy Muzyk, Krakow’s deputy mayor for sustainable development and chairman of the boar task force, said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Muzyk stressed that the boars pose a threat to public health because they carry rabies and African swine fever (ASF).
Marcin Palys, a wildlife emergency veterinarian, said that one of the factors contributing to the increase in the boar population is abundant food.
“Virtually all wild boars in the city are tame,” Palys said, adding that only cars and, possibly dogs, pose any threat to the animals.
“There is easy access to food,” he added. “Some of these intelligent animals know where and what time waste is thrown away.”
Representatives of the task force appealed to residents not to feed boars or throw food leftovers in places other than rubbish bins.
Following reports from residents, the town hall had installed trapping cages in three locations. Boars are lured into the traps by the smell of food, are later put down by the city authorities.