Latvia: Wild boar roam around central Riga

The two boar with a police officer in the background Image copyright Nils Usakovs/YouTube
Image caption A police dashboard camera captured the boar giving officers the run-around

Residents in Latvia's capital city have been stumbling across wild boar in the heart of the city.

Two of the animals were spotted enjoying an early-hours jaunt through central Riga at the weekend, prompting police and vets to descend in an attempt to corner them, the national public broadcaster reports. The pair ventured as far as the city's Freedom Monument before officers caught up with them, the website says. The animals were sedated and later released into a nearby forest.

It's the latest in a line of boar sightings in the Baltic city, where authorities are debating how to deal with the growing problem. Earlier sightings included a large group of boar grazing alongside tram lines, seemingly unperturbed by passing traffic. "When you've got a town created in the middle of the woods, you shouldn't wonder that forest animals will be living there too," councillor Askolds Klavins told Latvian Radio in April.

Riga isn't alone among European cities in having to deal with an influx of urban boar. Berlin hired a boar hunter to deal with an invasion of the animals in 2011. And the Italian port city of Genoa saw a similar influx two years later, with boar causing traffic accidents and one reportedly eating a pensioner's pet dog.

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