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.
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.
a wild boar in Haifa taking a nap after eating all the garbage pic.twitter.com/20Rvt7uISa
— ཊལབསརངཧ (@David_Rudnick) March 10, 2021
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.
קבלי עוד זווית צילום של ברנש המחמד מחיפה. pic.twitter.com/gZjoMj8GO3
— Yuval Leshem |CEO⁝HR Director⁝PMO⁝CO.FOUNDER| (@YuvalLeshem) March 12, 2021
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.