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The wild boar (french: sanglier) is a large animal, up to 1.80 metres long with a 30cm tail, and sometimes weighing more than 300kg. The short hair varies in colour from dark-brown and grey to nearly black. The boar has short legs, a very thick neck and a conical head / snout.
The wild boar is the ancestor of the domestic pig, and is essentially a nocturnal animal. Usual food is roots, cereals, nuts, acorns, chestnuts, worms etc
Widespread in many parts of southern France, although not commonly seen, the sanglier tends to inhabit forests, and finds food both within the forest and in neighbouring fields.
More frequently you might see the damage caused by the wild boar - they tend to dig up and leave bare quite a large area of ground in search of food. They also rub against tree trunks, leaving tell-tale damage.
Some areas of France have 'wild-boar' enclosures. These are surrounded by 2 metre high sturdy fence (a little like Jurassic park) and are only usually accessed by hunters. Usually wild boar will run away if approached, but occassionally they can become aggressive - particularly if there are young to protect. A meeting with a full grown wild boar on a remote forest path can apparently be a very scary experience!
More French Wildlife
See more cute animal photos at France wildlife photo gallery