중앙데일리

Porcine tour group finds a highway less than safe

Oct 31,2005
EUISEONG, North Gyeongsang - Perhaps it’s time to start thinking about “wild pig crossing” signs on the highways?
Continuing an unusual string of sightings of the pigs, which inhabit many mountainous areas of Korea, a driver of a sports utility vehicle escaped injury late Sunday evening when he encountered a group of the beasts crossing the Jungang Expressway near here.
The driver said that as he was driving from Daegu north to Andong in this province, he suddenly encountered about 20 of the animals crossing the highway as he was rounding a curve. Despite his best efforts to stop in time, he said, he struck the pigs in the road.
Five juvenile wild pigs were killed in the accident; the others escaped.
Police said the animals that perished were all about 6 months old, weighing about 50 kilograms (110 pounds) each. The Kia Carens of the 49-year-old man suffered damage to its front bumper.
“The pigs probably entered the highway from a nearby mountain; that section of the road had no guardrail at the side,” a police officer said. “There was hardly any traffic at the time, so the pigs probably felt safe in crossing the road.”
Boars lead solitary lives except during mating season, so the group was probably sows and juveniles.
The accident follows a string of wild pig sightings in Seoul beginning in early October. Hunters have chased down and killed three pigs in the city since then; one injured two passers-by.
“More and more wild pigs are coming down from the mountains to look for food because their numbers are growing rapidly,” Park Hee-cheon, biology professor at Kyungpook National University, said yesterday. “The road accident was something that could happen at any time.”


by Hong Kwan-sam


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