Dogs – yes – but wild boars are a decidedly rarer sight out and about in Rome.
In a series of mysterious photographs, a wild boar is seen apparently standing alongside commuters on a number eight tram, near the area of Trastevere.
Escorted by a commuter who appears to have adopted the animal as a pet, the wild boar even has its own special leash, presumably preventing it from causing trouble.
The images, which have been widely circulated on social media and published in several Italian newspapers, have attracted much curiosity – but also doubts.
According to Italy’s Il Messaggero daily, however, the photos are genuine, as confirmed by the Facebook group “Trenino Roma Lido” which published the snaps.
Barbara Franzetti, a researcher at ISPRA, the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, meanwhile, is not convinced that it’s a wild boar at all.
“It’s definitely not a wild boar but a Thai pig,” she told the AGI news agency.
“In the 1990s George Clooney ended up in the papers when he was spotted walking around with a pig like this. And now it would seem this fashion is spreading.”
The researcher added that even if it was a wild boar, it would be only be possible to escort it on a leash if it had been domesticated from a young age – “otherwise it really would have been impossible.”
This isn’t the first time wild animals have appeared on public transport to the bemusement and delight of commuters.
In November last year, a group of friends in Bordeaux, France, gained notoriety after they drunkenly kidnapped a circus llama named Serge and were snapped taking him on a late-night tram ride.
But the circus director dropped charges against the group, saying he has “nothing against them”.