How road hogs became the scourge of the autobahn

It may seem logical to swerve out of the way when faced with a wild boar on the road, but the Teutonic equivalent of the RAC, Germany's ADAC automobile club, thinks otherwise.

The motoring group has advised German drivers to plough straight into the animal, if necessary, when confronted by one on the road. It also produced graphic pictures to show the outcome.

Crashing into boars was infinitely better than trying to swerve out of their way because of the risk of running into an oncoming vehicle, the ADAC said yesterday.

"If a wild animal appears suddenly, apply the brakes as hard as possible, keep a tight grip on the steering wheel and stay in lane. In the worst case scenario a collision with the animal has to be accepted."

Photographs taken during a 50mph ADAC "test" collision, involving a life-sized dummy model boar and two piglets, showed that the entire front of the VW car used was wrecked.

"A collision with wild boar need not be life-threatening. The front of the vehicle was damaged but the passenger cell remained stable," the ADAC said.

The controlled test was the organisation's latest response to the growing number of accidents involving wild animals on Germany's roads. A total of 27 peopled were killed and more than 3,000 injured last year, not counting the tens of thousands of animals killed.

The rise in animal-related accidents has been blamed in particular on an explosion in Germany's wild boar population which is estimated to have increased at least six-fold over the past three years to reach a population of 2.5 million (one for every 32 Germans).

"The standard is now a doubling of the population each year," said Torsten Reinwald of the German Hunting Association. Last year, 447,000 wild boars were shot in Germany – the highest number since records began in the mid 1800s.

The population explosion is attributed to a 30 per cent increase in the planting of crops such as rape seed and maize, which are favourites of wild boars. With the notable exception of last winter, there has also been a run of mild winters which has allowed the animals to breed all year round.

The big increases have produced bizarre side-effects. In Berlin, a 10,000-strong resident wild boar population has forced the city's Premier League football team, Hertha BSC to call in marksmen to cull animals tearing up the pitch with their snouts.

There have been dozens of such encounters between pig and man in Germany recently. Five boars smashed their way into a cinema near Frankfurt. The animals were cornered in a car park and gunned down by police, who fired more than 100 shots, leaving an elderly witness badly shocked.

In another incident, a large boar smashed its way into a church community centre, terrifying a breakfast gathering of parents and toddlers who were forced to leap on to tables for safety away from the animal.

Experts say it is useless to try to run away from a wild boar. "They can weigh up to 90kg and run at speeds of up to 55kph (30mph), which is twice as fast as humans," Mr Reinwald said. "If startled, and particularly if a sow and piglets are involved, they can charge," he added.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'