SHARE
COPY LINK

ENVIRONMENT

‘Save the cheeky but peaceful sow’: Berliners protest culling of wild boar

Berliners are protesting - online and in person - against the possible culling of a peaceful pig dubbed Elsa who gained worldwide fame for stealing a nudist's laptop bag as a chase ensued.

'Save the cheeky but peaceful sow': Berliners protest culling of wild boar
A wild boar and its babies in Springe, Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA

Berlin, and the world, was pleasantly enlivened by social media images of a nude sunbather chasing after a wild boar who had stolen his laptop bag.

READ ALSO: Only in Germany: Wild boar steals laptop from naked Berlin sunbather

Yet the laughing mood was dampened when Berlin’s forestry service announced last week that the boar and its two youngsters could be part of an annual cull in order to keep the species’ numbers down and protect people from diseases they might carry. 

Berliners have now protested –  and on Sunday organised a “demo against the shooting of the wild boar family from the Teufelssee”.

An online petition was also set up under the title “Save the cheeky but peaceful sow from the Teufelssee,” and collected almost 10,000 signatures at the time of writing. 

About a dozen people showed up to Sunday’s protest in front of Berlin’s Forestry Office in Grunewald. 

They kept their distance, wore masks, and held up signs that read “Have a heart for this wild boar family”.

“The animals did not harm anyone and the laptop also came back to its owner,” wrote protest organisers. “There is no reason to kill the animals.”

The boar family is apparently known to bathers, and even made an appearance at the lake in Berlin's Grunewald in the week following its social media fame.

Adele Landauer, the Berlin-based life coach who originally took the pictures and shared with the man’s permission, spotted the boar family again on August 9th, and wrote that the creatures did not do any harm to those around them

“No one really cared much because they all felt comfortable with each other,” she wrote.

Wild boar babies playing around in Ravensburg, Baden-Württemberg. Photo: DPA

'Appropriate measures'

However, Berlin state forestry office spokesman Marc Franusch told AFP the boar and her babies could be culled when the hunting season begins in October.

They would not be shot immediately because it is the wrong time of year, Franusch said – but the agency will be keeping an eye on them.

“If there are special dangers for humans or animals in places such as the bathing area at Teufelssee (lake), appropriate measures must be taken to avert these dangers,” he said.

Wild boars are regularly culled by licensed hunters in Berlin and the rest of Germany to keep numbers down and to fend off diseases such as African swine fever.

Every year, 1,000 to 2,000 wild boars are shot in Berlin.

The population in Berlin alone is estimated to hover around 3,000, with sightings are becoming more common.

READ ALSO: 'No longer fearful': How wild boars are thriving in Berlin

They often venture into residential areas looking for food, as appeared to be the case during the incident last week, and have been known to attack humans.

“Many of us were scared but the wild boars seemed to be peaceful,” Landauer, the Berlin-based life coach, wrote as she shared photos of the animals on Instagram two weeks ago. 

“After they ate a pizza from a backpack of a man who was taking a swim in the lake they were looking for a dessert. They found this yellow bag and decided to take it away.”

Franusch urged people visiting the lake to avoid leaving food or rubbish behind, as this would only encourage the creatures.

With reporting from AFP.

Member comments

  1. So if this is the way to deal with animals dangerous to humans, I can imagine a lot of people that need to be shot in Berlin. Shooting these animals makes as much as sense as shooting your average thief on Kotti stealing your backpack. Signed the petition.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

ENVIRONMENT

Young activists take German states to court over climate inaction

Campaigners began a legal challenge against five German regions on Monday to force them to take stronger action on climate change, emboldened by a landmark recent court ruling in favour of environmental protection.

Young activists take German states to court over climate inaction
Demonstrators from the Fridays for Future movement protest in Gießen, Hesse, with a sign saying "No wishy-washy, no climate lashing". Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Frank Rumpenhorst

The plaintiffs are basing their case on a sensational verdict by Germany’s constitutional court in April which found that Germany’s plans to curb CO2 emissions were insufficient to meet the targets of the Paris climate agreement and placed an unfair burden on future generations.

In a major win for activists, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s federal government then brought forward its date for carbon neutrality by five years to 2045, and raised its 2030 target for greenhouse gas reductions.

READ ALSO: 

On Monday, 16 children and young adults began proceedings against the regions of Hesse, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saarland, with support of environmental NGO Environmental Action Germany (DUH).

They are charging that none of the states targeted by the legal action have passed sufficiently strong climate legislation at the local level, according to DUH.

“The federal government can’t succeed on its own,” lead lawyer Remo Klinger said in a press conference, highlighting state competence in the area of transport.

DUH worked closely together with the youth climate movement Fridays For Future to find activists willing to front the challenges, the group said.

Seventeen-year-old plaintiff Alena Hochstadt said the western state of Hesse, known for its Frankfurt banking hub, had always been her home but she feared having “no future here”.

Concern about the risk of “floods, storms and droughts” led her and other campaigners to seek “a legal basis for binding climate protection”.

READ ALSO: Climate change made German floods ‘more likely and more intense’

Hesse’s ministers for climate and the economy said they were “surprised” by the announcement.

“DUH clearly has not yet understood that we in Hesse are well ahead,” Priska Hinz and Tarek Al-Wazir said in a joint statement, drawing attention to an energy future law from 2012, before the Paris climate agreement.

In July, DUH-supported activists took the states of Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Brandenburg to court on similar grounds.

SHOW COMMENTS