Wild boars corner woman in Rome supermarket car park and steal her groceries

 wild boar (Sus scrofa) - mauribo /iStockphoto
wild boar (Sus scrofa) - mauribo /iStockphoto

A group of boars were caught on camera cornering a woman in a supermarket car park before stealing her shopping in the latest example of the animals wreaking havoc in Italy.

The clip recorded in the village of Le Rughe, around 30km from Rome, shows the woman backing away from the boars as she tries to shake them off.

But the four adults and two young boars were so persistent in their hunt for food that the woman is forced to throw her bags to the ground and run.

The bags are then quickly destroyed by the boars, who sprint to the nearby trees with whatever they can carry.

Wild boars are a menace in Italy, where their population is thought to be in the millions, and the numerous incidents in recent years have caused controversy.

In October last year animal rights activists were outraged after a sow and her six piglets were killed by police on a playground near the Vatican. The officers claimed to have run out of cages to house them.

“It was a mother with her little ones — just emotionally, this is terrible,” Andrea Brutti, who is the chief official for wild fauna at Italy’s National Board for Animal Protection, told the New York Times.

Although many are fond of the animals, there are regular reports of aggressive boars injuring and even killing Italians. At least 10,000 car accidents per year are thought to be caused by boars.

Their population grows almost entirely unchecked as their only predators are wolves, of which there are only 1,500 in Italy. Over the last decade their numbers have doubled.

Millions of euros’ worth of spring crops were destroyed by boars last year, according to farmers, as they took advantage of the absence of humans amid the pandemic.

“These wild animals have taken possession of the countryside and are turning up in villages and even big cities,” the farmers’ association said at the time.

“The unchecked proliferation of wild boars is also putting at risk the environmental balance of vast ecosystems across the country.”