Wild boars are coming to new neighborhoods

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Wild boars are coming to new neighborhoods

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A wild boar intrudes into a residential area in Busan on Friday. [NEWSIS]

Four wild boar sightings were reported in Seoul and Seongnam, Gyeonggi, on Sunday and Monday. None of the four wild boars caused injuries, but an increasing number of wild boars encroaching on urban residential areas raises concerns about public safety.

Jongno police said two boar appearances were reported near Sajik-dong in Jongno District, central Seoul, on Sunday night. One boar was shot to death within two hours, while the other ran away to a nearby mountain.

On Monday, another boar was reported around Gyeongbokgung Station in Jongno District, and was killed an hour later.

Bundang police received an emergency call about a wild boar appearance near residential areas in Seohyen-dong, Bundang District in Seongnam, on Sunday.

Police alerted local residents and tracked down the boar. The boar, which a police spokesman said was looking for food, was killed within two hours.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, an average of 152 boar sightings were reported annually for the past three years, most near Mount Bukhan National Park.

A total of 11.8 boar appearances in Seoul are reported monthly on average, and are expected to increase as the boar population grows and looks for food during winter.

The Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Headquarters said a lack of natural predators contributes to wild boars’ ever growing numbers, while the construction of walking trails in Seoul deprive them of shelter.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment and Seoul Metropolitan Government captured 50 wild boars to prevent them from entering the city in March. As more boars are likely to appear during winter, however, the city government warns hikers and local residents to keep an eye out.

BY KIM YUNA [kim.yuna1@joongang.co.kr]

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