An animal that has one of the longest histories in human history, being a strange mix of both friend and foe. To this day it is a vital source of meat for people in rural communities, but it is also guilty of destroying crops. This complex relationship has led to the boar shaping many cultures and being enshrined in folklore, even here in the Hârtibaciu Valley with the story of the ‘Enchanted Boar’.
The benefits of wild boar don’t stop there. They burrow into the soil in search of food, allowing plants and trees to grow and creating key places for insects, reptiles, amphibians and birds to live and feed. Boars are also very efficient waste disposal units, eating everything including dead animals, making sure diseases don’t spread and generally keeping the environment healthy. Furthermore, they are a favourite prey for large carnivores and without them there would be more attacks on domestic animals. They are a ‘keystone species’ in the ecosystem, shaping the landscape around them and benefiting many other species. One of the main habitats they preserve and rely on in the Hârtibaciu Valley is the endangered oak wood pastures.