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Rome man killed in wild boar-scooter collision

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Rome man killed in wild boar-scooter collision
File photo of a wild boar: Gregor Fischer/DPA/AFP
11:04 CET+01:00
Rome authorities are considering sterilizing wild boars in the city following a spate of sightings, and a deadly collision on Friday night between one of the animals and a scooter.

A 49-year-old died on Saturday evening after a wild boar appeared in front of his scooter, causing the driver to be thrown from his seat.

The man was taken to hospital following the collision but died of severe head injuries shortly after.

The map below shows the location of the incident, which took place in the Parco dell'Inviolatella Borghese to the north-west of the city centre.

Wild boar sightings in the capital have increased over recent months, with video footage showing them on the city's streets and in residential areas as well as parks.

According to estimates from consumer organization Coldiretti, their number has more than doubled over the past decade, resulting in over a million wild boars across the country, believed to cause €100 million worth of damage to agricultural crops each year.

This has led to a political row, with the Democratic Party accusing Rome's Five Star Movement administration of failing to tackle the problem of rubbish in the streets. Piles of uncollected rubbish are thought to be a factor in attracting both wild boar and rats.

Carlo Rienzi, president of another consumer group, Codacons, said he had called on the local public prosecutor's office to establish whether city authorities were partly responsible for the death.

"For some time, the growing presence of wild boars romping around the city's streets has been observed, putting the safety of citizens in serious danger," said Rienzi. "The problem hasn't been addressed and the lack of intervention has led to Friday's tragic incident."

"Rome has turned into an open-air zoo, with wild animals, pigs and rats going undisturbed in urban areas," he added.

Rome's environmental councillors said they were "dealing with the problems related to the presence of wild boars in Rome" and evaluated the idea of sterilization.

In 2015, the death of two Italians in separate road collisions with the animals, in Tuscany and Abruzzo, prompted calls for a cull. The accidents followed the mauling to death of a Sicilian pensioner by a wild boar on his own property.

Attempts to control their reproduction through birth control tablets were trialled in Tuscany in 2015, but it seems that the boar population is continuing to increase, both in rural and urban areas.

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