A WILD boar was spotted running across the garden of a surprised resident of the Stroud valleys this week.

A solitary wild pig was seen above the village of Ruscombe near to Standish Woods, and although it appeared to be alone it is likely that there are more, as boar usually live in groups, known as 'sounders'.

Despite being a familiar, if not always welcome, sight in the Forest of Dean it’s unusual for the animals to be seen on this side of the River Severn leading to speculation that the pig may have escaped from a local farm, rather than being a member of the wild population.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

According to the Forestry Commission wild boar were once common in England, but were hunted to extinction at least 300-years ago.

“In recent years small populations of feral wild boar have become established in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire areas again in the wild as a result of both accidental and deliberate releases from wild boar farms,” the Forestry Commission website explains.

“In 2004 a group of around 60-farm reared wild boar were dumped in an illegal release near the village of Staunton on the western edge of the Forest above the Wye Valley. The Forest of Dean population is the largest of the breeding populations that now exist in England.”

Dog walkers should remain vigilant in the area and keep their dogs within sight whilst on walks, if a boar is spotted then return dogs to the lead immediately.

In the event that walkers see a boar they should not approach the animals but calmly retreat and seek another path if available, or remain still until the boar have moved off.