Last year’s ban on culling wild boars in Haifa and a recent lull in traffic and human activity due to coronavirus restrictions have led to a spike in the animals taking up residence in the northern coastal city, with daily sightings of the beasts brashly roaming the streets.
Now, with public life returning to normal following weeks of lockdown, Haifa residents are facing fresh challenges posed by the pigs.
For one Haifa student out of the city’s 50,000 who returned to classes last month, however, the increasing presence of the wild boars could be an asset.
What better excuse could there be for not doing homework than saying that a wild boar ate it? Better still if you caught the act on video.
In footage posted online from outside a school in Haifa, a wild boar can be seen eating through the contents of Elad Koshiko’s schoolbag as his friends watch in amazement.
“We ordered a pizza and the boar came and ate the pizza and he ate the work in my bag,” Koshiko explains to the camera as the feast continues in the background.
כשהילד חוזר מבית הספר ואומר שאין לו שיעורים כי חזיר בר אכל לו את התיק ,ואתה לא מאמין ואז….זה @dankozikaro @hazinor #עירייתחיפה #חזירבר #חזיריחיפה
Haifa is at the foot of the Mount Carmel, home to boars, foxes, jackals and other animals, all protected by Israeli law. With no natural predators in Haifa, their numbers can grow rapidly.
Boars have long entered Haifa at night looking for food and water. But residents say in recent months they have been increasingly bold, blocking roads, digging up public gardens and overturning large garbage bins.
The wild pigs rip up vegetation and rummage through bins, sparking a fierce debate between animal rights defenders and those in favor of driving them out or killing them.
Boars, a species of wild pig found across Europe, Asia and North Africa, can grow up to two meters (more than six feet) in length, although most are smaller.
Until the 2019 ban was imposed, Haifa periodically allowed hunters to shoot them to keep numbers down.