Wild Boar

Wild Boar

Wild swine, Eurasian wild pig, Ryukyu Islands wild pig, Common wild pig, Wild pig

Sus scrofa
Population size
Life Span
2-27 years
Top speed
km/h mph 
kg lbs 
cm inch 
cm inch 

The Wild boar (Sus scrofa) is a suid native to much of Eurasia and North Africa. The species is now one of the widest-ranging mammals in the world, as well as the most widespread suiform. It has been assessed as the least concern on the IUCN Red List due to its wide range, high numbers, and adaptability to a diversity of habitats. It has become an invasive species in part of its introduced range. The Wild boar has a long history of association with humans, having been the ancestor of most domestic pig breeds and a big-game animal for millennia.


The Wild boar is a bulky, massively built suid with short and relatively thin legs. The trunk is short and robust, while the hindquarters are comparatively underdeveloped. The region behind the shoulder blades rises into a hump and the neck is short and thick to the point of being nearly immobile. The animal's head is very large, taking up to one-third of the body's entire length. The structure of the head is well-suited for digging. The head acts as a plough, while the powerful neck muscles allow the animal to upturn considerable amounts of soil. The eyes are small and deep-set and the ears long and broad. The species has well-developed canine teeth, which protrude from the mouths of adult males. The medial hooves are larger and more elongated than the lateral ones and are capable of quick movements. The winter coat of the Wild boar consists of long, coarse bristles underlaid with short brown downy fur. Coat color varies with location and with age, with piglets having light brown or rusty-brown fur with pale bands extending from the flanks and back.




Wild boars are commonly found and abundant animals, occurring throughout the globe, except for Antarctica. The natural habitat of this species covers parts of Europe and Asia. Additionally, Wild boars have been introduced to South and North America. Currently, these animals are considered invaders throughout the southeastern United States and California. Preferred types of habitat are grassy savanna areas, wooded forests, agricultural areas, shrublands, and marshy swamplands. Overall, Wild boars live in areas with a constant source of water and dense vegetative cover to serve them as a refuge from predators.

Wild Boar habitat map
Wild Boar habitat map
Wild Boar
Public Domain Dedication (CC0)

Habits and Lifestyle

As a nocturnal mammal, the Wild boar is active during the night, when it leaves its shelter to find food. This animal spends as much as 12 hours per day sleeping in a nest, constructed out of leaves. Females of this species exhibit social behavior, forming so-called "sounders" - loosely organized groups of 6-30 individuals. Each of these units is composed of breeding females and their offspring. Two or more groups may occasionally share the same area without mixing with each other. Male Wild boars tend to lead solitary life during most of the year. They socialize only in the reproductive season, during which they frequently occur near sounders as well as territories of other breeding males. The communication system of these animals includes vocalizations such as growls, which express aggression. They also use squealing calls, typically when excited or to display a friendly attitude.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

As an omnivorous species, the Wild boar consumes food of both plant and animal origin. The diet of these mammals is generally composed of plants such as crops, fruits, nuts (mast), roots, and green plants, supplemented with bird eggs, carrion, small rodents, insects, and worms. Additionally, the Wild boar has been known to hunt on livestock such as small calves or lambs.

Mating Habits

108-120 days
4-6 piglets
7 months
piglet, farrow

Wild boars exhibit a polygynous mating system, where each breeding male defends its mating rights. The winning male will mate with the females in a sounder. Breeding occurs year-round. The gestation period lasts for 108-120 days, yielding a litter of 4-6 piglets. Young are born in a nest, located among dense vegetation and constructed out of leaves, grass, and moss. During the first 2 weeks, the female is almost constantly with her young to protect them from potential predators. At about 2 months of age, young boars start coming out of the nest to feed. Independence is reached within 7 months. Male Wild boars are ready to breed at 2 years old, whereas females are reproductively mature at 1 year of age.


Population threats

The population of Wild boars as a whole is not currently facing any serious threats. However, various localized concerns negatively affect populations of this species. In many parts of their range, these mammals heavily suffer from the destruction of their natural habitat. They are also threatened by large-scale hunting for consumption, sport, and pests (especially near human settlements). And finally, these animals are exposed to different contagious diseases, resulting in high numbers of mortality.

Population number

According to IUCN, the wild boar is abundant and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. As reported on the IUCN Red List, the Khentii and Khangai Mountain regions of Mongolia hold a population of 34,000 Wild boars (data of 1989). Research, conducted by the Estonian Environmental Agency, has shown that the population of this species in Estonia was over 22,500 individuals (estimated by the end of winter 2012). The ICUN classifies this species as "Least Concern".

Ecological niche

Wild boars tend to affect negatively the ecosystem they live in. When they invade new areas, they adapt to the new area by trampling and rooting, as well as displacing many saplings/nutrients. This causes a decrease in growing of many plants and trees. Water is also affected negatively by Wild boars. When boars are active in streams or small pools of water, they cause increased turbidity (excessive silt and particle suspension). Aquatic wildlife is affected, more prominently fish, and amphibians. Wild boars have caused a great decrease in over 300 animal or plant species, with 250 being endangered or threatened. When these boars compete with other species for resources, they usually come out successful.


Wild boars are commonly found and widespread throughout Eurasia. They are commonly farmed for consumption throughout the world. Hence, these animals could have been domesticated anywhere. But according to zoo-archaeological evidence, namely, bones and teeth, domestication of these mammals began about 9,000 - 10,000 years ago, on the territory of modern Eastern Turkey. After several thousand years, they were independently domesticated in central China. According to a recently conducted research, which compared the DNA of Wild boars and domestic pigs, domestication of these animals also took place in other regions of the Old World, including Europe.


Fun Facts for Kids

  • Wild boars exhibit conspicuous tusks on their lower lips. Males possess noticeably longer and curved tusks as well as an additional tusk on the upper lip, with which they sharpen tusks on the lower lip.
  • The snout of this mammal is elongated and elastic. Wild boar used its snout when digging out roots and bulbs.
  • Wild boars are not only fast at running but they can jump at a height of 140-150 cm (55-59 in).
  • When fighting, these mammals typically slash at the shoulders of one another, since this part of their body is covered with very thick skin and hair.
  • In the past, hairs from this animal's neck served as a material for toothbrush production, later being altered with synthetic materials.
  • Despite having poorly-developed eyesight, these mammals perceive their environment through excellent senses of smell and hearing.
  • Because of their short legs, these animals move through the snow with great difficulty. This could be the historical reason why Wild boars didn't spread further north than the northern edge of their current range.

Coloring Pages


1. Wild Boar Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_boar
2. Wild Boar on The IUCN Red List site - http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/41775/0

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