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[Newsmaker] Several wild boars sighted in southeastern Seoul

Several sightings of wild boars were reported in the Gangdong and Songpa districts of Seoul between Wednesday and Thursday morning, the local fire station said.

Songpa Fire Station said it received the first call around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday about two baby boars near Asan Medical Center. The boars could not be found when firefighters arrived on the scene. 

A boar is found in the a house in the downtown area of Busan on Oct. 4 (Yonhap)
A boar is found in the a house in the downtown area of Busan on Oct. 4 (Yonhap)

Five more boar sightings were reported over the night within the vicinity of Gangdong and Songpa through 7:20 a.m. Thursday. At around midnight, five boars were reportedly observed roaming inside Iljasan Mountain Nature Park, which forms the city’s southeastern boundary with Gyeonggi Province. Fire authorities, in cooperation with police and hunters, searched the area but could not find any trace of the boars.

The number of boars stumbling into the city is on the rise. Two boars appeared inside an apartment complex in Songpa on Oct. 16, and two more reports of boars were made the next day in the area. None of the reported boars have been caught.

Civilian hunters believe the boars are coming down from the mountainsides of the Namhan Mountain Fortress in Gyeonggi Province, close to Seoul.

“The boars are trying to find food. The weather’s getting cold and their breeding season is approaching, so they’re trying to secure food and energy,” said Lee Seok-yeol, one of the hunters working with the Seoul government in their operation to catch boars. The city is working with teams of individual hunters, like Lee, to capture the boars as the weapons used by the police and firefighters are insufficient in capturing the wild creatures.

According to Lee, the key to staying safe when one encounters a wild boar is remaining calm.

Wild boars are highly aggressive animals, and will attack someone who runs, screams, makes loud noises or movements of any kind in front of them. “Boars can run at the speed of 60 kilometers per hour, and throwing itself at someone, especially with its huge teeth, can be fatal,” Lee said. The best thing is to quietly hide behind or under something until it goes away, he advised.

Lee also cautioned that boars may be being pushed out of their habitats in the mountains due to the government’s boar search operations.

By Choi Ji-won (