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Spain - Wild boars turn to oranges due to lack of food

Wild boars continue to wreak havoc in the Valencian county of La Safor. Herds of this wild pig have been coming every night from the mountains in search of food. So far, they had been happy with roots and plant bulbs, but now they are also eating oranges.

So far this citrus season, the wild boars have consumed more than 20% of the production in La Safor, as warned by Vicent Faro, representative of the Valencian Association of Agricultural Producers (AVA-Asaja). Wild boars causing damage to crops is not a novelty, but it is the first time that they are resorting to citrus “or at least the first time that they are doing so to such an alarming extent.”

Faro explained that these wild animals have turned to the fruit due to the lack of food: “They come down from the mountains every night, as the dry weather is forcing them to leave their surroundings in search of food and water.”

Damage to facilities
“All this has resulted in multiple damages being recorded in recent years. In order to look for water, they break the drip irrigation ducts, and to reach the roots of plants, they damage the orange trees,” said Faro. This has been happening night after night for years, which has resulted in a shortage of the roots and bulbs they usually feed from.

“If the wild boars extract the bulb from the ground, they prevent that particular plant from reproducing in the following season, so the amount of food available is smaller every year,” said the AVA representative.

So in the absence of food on the surface, the wild boars have turned to the fruit of the trees. “This season, they are doing a lot of damage in La Safor, in places like Oliva, where there is a mountain nearby. The situation is very difficult.”

“So far, they have destroyed 20% of the harvest,” he added. Paco Climent, an Oliva-based producer who has suffered the attacks of these wild animals, spoke in the same terms.

“It’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and on top of the losses we suffer each year, we must add the wild boars eating the oranges. It’s a disaster. They make holes on the ground in search of roots and water, they destroy the drip irrigation pipes and since they no longer find plants, they turn to the fruit, thus destroying part of the trees,” explained the producer.

In other areas of La Safor, such as Gandia or Valldigna, the problem is not as severe. “At the moment, they continue to harm the fields, looking for roots and water, but in the citrus fruit plots closest to the mountains they also eat oranges,” said Vicent Grau, of the Irrigation Union of Tavernes.

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