Wild Boar

(Sus scrofa)




Facts about this animal

Occupying a vast range, the wild boar has evolved into a number of subspecies (about 35 have been described, but not all may be valid). In Europe, male wild boars may reach a head-body length of 200 cm, and a weight of 200 kgs. The tail measures about 25 cm. Females are significantly smaller. Male wild boars grow tusks from both the upper and lower canines curving upwards. The top tusks are hollow and act as a permanent whetstone against which the lower tusks are continually sharpened. Females do not grow the upper 'sharpening' tusks as do the males, and their lower tusks are smaller.

Wild boars are social animals living in groups called sounders. Sounders are are matriarchal and organised around a core of two or three mature reproductive females with their most recent litters. Occasionally wild boars will congregate in larger groups. Adult males are not part of the sounder outside of the breeding season and are usually found alone.

Sows have an oestrus cycle length of 21 days, pregnancy lasts for 112-120 days. The reproduction period varies regionally, depending of climatic conditions. In Europe, farrowing can occur at any time throughout a 6-9 month period but peaks in April. A litter will typically contain 4-6 piglets. Up to 13 may occur, but rarely more than 8 are brought up, as the females have only 4-5 pairs of teats.


The piglets weigh between 750 g - 1000 g at birth. They have characteristic light brown and cream coloured longitudinal stripes. They will begin to eat solid food after about 2 weeks and are fully weaned at 3-4 months

Wild boars are usually nocturnal, foraging from dusk until dawn but with resting periods during both night and day. Their diet consists of almost anything they come across, including nuts, berries, carrion, roots, tubers, refuse, insects, small reptiles--even young deer and lambs.

Longevity in the wild rarely reaches 10 years of age. At the zoo, wild boars can live longer, even reaching 25 years.

Did you know?
that, in many European countries, the wild boar has enlarged its range and dramatically increased in numbers in recent years? In the 1960s, about 30,000 wild boars where shot by German hunters. As of today, the annual bag exceeds 500,000 animals.


Name (Scientific) Sus scrofa
Name (English) Wild Boar
Name (French) Sanglier
Name (German) Wildschwein
Name (Spanish) Jabalí
Local names Albanian: Derri i eger
Croatian: Divlja svinja
Czech: Prase divoké
Danish: Vildsvin
Dutch: Wild zwijn
Estonian: Metssiga
Finnish: Villisika
Hungarian: Vaddisznó
Italian: Cinghiale
Lithuanian: Sernas
Norwegian: Villsvin
Polish: Dzik
Portuguese: Javali
Romansh: Portg selvadi
Slovak: Diviak lesný
Swedish: Vildsvin
Turkish: Yaban domuzu
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Richad Bartz



Range Originally in Europe, Asia, North Africa, later introduced throughout the world as domesticated animals by humans. In may regions, e.g. Australia, New Zealand, North America, some South American countries, domesticated pigs have become feral. In Britain, where the originl population was exterminated in the 13th century, a new wild population was established in the mid 1990s from boars escaped from farms.
Habitat Wide variety of habitats
Wild population Unknown. In recent years, European populations have grown considerably. In germany alone, the annual bag of hunters is in the order of 470'000 animals, and another 20'000 are killed by road accidents every year.
Zoo population 411 reported to ISIS. The real number is very large.

In the Zoo

Wild Boar


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 74 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations, should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Dave Pape

Why do zoos keep this animal

Wild boars are kept mainly for educational purposes because they are the ancestors of the domestic pig, and for familiarising people with a native ungulate that, in most areas, is only rarely seen in the wild because of its nocturnal habits.