Hogging the bed

Sleepy Haifa boar becomes internet star

Wild beasts have increasingly taken up residence in the northern coastal city

A wild boar taking a nap on a mattress in Haifa (via Twitter)
A wild boar taking a nap on a mattress in Haifa (via Twitter)

A photo of a wild boar taking a nap on a mattress by a garbage bin became a bit of an internet sensation this week.

The image began circulating among Israeli WhatsApp groups before reaching Twitter and garnering tens of thousands of likes. The image also gained attention on reddit, including among Israeli users.

It is unclear who originally took the picture, but the scene is instantly recognizable to anyone from the northern coastal city.

Boars have long entered Haifa at night looking for food and water. But residents say over the past year they have been increasingly bold, blocking roads, digging up public gardens and overturning garbage bins.

Haifa is at the foot of 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.

The wild pigs rip up vegetation and rummage through bins and can be dangerous. Their increased presence has sparked 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 a 2019 ban, Haifa periodically allowed hunters to shoot them to keep numbers down.

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