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Rome: An Invasion of Boars


Yes, it seems to be Wildlife Week at GumboNews. Two days ago, we covered pigs clearing geese from Schiphol Airport, and yesterday we noted that Stockholm is worried about people taking selfies with elk.

And today, we report that Rome has been invaded not by Goths or Vandals or Huns, but by hordes of wild boar, rummaging in the city's trash. Rome has had a trash-collection problem for years, and it is once again an issue in this year's mayoral race.

The boars, who travel in groups of anywhere from a few to thirty, apparently live in remote areas of the city's parks, and emerge to feed when the need strikes, occasionally becoming involved in traffic accidents and unfortunate human interactions. Italian agriculture experts believe there are about five to six thousand living in the parks.

A two-year-old program by the regional parks authority to round up and slaughter enough of the tasty terrorists to reduce the problem has so far failed, and officials have talked of possibly allowing hunting in parts of the parks, an idea which has drawn opposition both from nearby residents and animal rights activists.

You'll note, though, that none of the solutions start at the other end: collecting and disposing of the garbage before the boars get to it. In Rome, that idea is reserved for election rhetoric.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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