Large muscular body, heavy-set at shoulders; large head with tusks in both mature males and females (male tusks are proportionally larger). Mature males have Mohican hair ‘ridge’ down centre line from head to mid-back. They have relatively short legs. Colour can vary greatly; dark grey, brown, sandy brown and black (never a mixture of colours). Young are striped ‘humbugs’, losing stripes at 4-5 months; young can be observed throughout the year. Adult boar can measure >200cm in length; tail length 15-40cm and is straight in wild boar, if curly indicates more interbreeding with domestic or feral pigs.
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Wild boar tracks are distinctive looking as they are hoofed, and only deer species have similar shaped footprints. Up to 7cm in width, can vary in size.
There can be some confusion between wild boar prints and sheep and goat, particularly in farmland habitats. Unlike the tracks of other even toed ungulates it is the dew claws, which in soft ground are impressed even when walking slowly, that serve to identify wild boar tracks.
A distinctive field sign left by wild boar is shown in the photograph. Wild boar like to uproot grass verges in search of worms and bugs to forage upon.
Present in Kent, East Sussex, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Gwent, possibly Devon and parts of Scotland. Sightings recorded in other geographical areas. (Maps are based on expert advice, as of 2007. Some species ranges may have changed in the time since. We are currently in the process of updating them.)
Eats a variety of vegetation, roots, seeds and fruits. Will also eat carrion, young mammals, eggs and chicks of ground-nesting birds.