Ever since my brief encounter with the baby boar, I have been out every night on boar watch. Although he is not a great time keeper and seems to have no idea that he should only come out at dusk, I have seen him almost every evening. And sometimes during the day; at 9:30am one morning we spotted him from the terrace on a grassy patch near the chicken lady’s shed. Her son-in-law was watering his orto with his back to the grass, blissfully unaware that a boar was standing watching him. At 3:30pm one afternoon while outside painting a table, I heard a crunch and turned in time to see the boar dive behind the bamboo. I rushed to grab my camera (now always at close hand) and startled him on the orto steps. So close!

Capturing him on camera has not been easy. While eating my dinner with the dining room doors open, I heard the familiar sound of boar crunching on windfall plums. It was almost 7:30pm. Abandoning my dinner, I crept out and finally got these photos:

From that point on, my boar watch duties took a more proactive approach. I began to know his routine and patiently sat in wait at the bottom of the orto as his main route up from the woods seemed to be through the paddock:

He’s a cute little fellow. It’s hard to believe looking at him that he’s going to grow up into something big, bristly and destructive (and hunted). From my internet research, his colouring suggests he is no more than 4 months old, although I have also read that he could be anything up to 10 months old. The young males leave the sounder (the group of boars) at the age of 8-15 months, so based on that information, if he’s not an orphan, then he could be between 8-10 months old.

Apparently, he doesn’t have good eyesight but has an acute sense of smell and hearing. I can’t get that close before he senses me, one way or another. I too, though, have developed a keen ear and can recognise a boar snort, snuffle or crunch at 50 paces. This has allowed me to track him across neighbouring land:

This little baby boar is also quite wily. He manages to either stand just out of range of my zoom lens, to place himself under the camouflage of leaves and grasses or only comes closer when the light is fading and my camera can’t cope, all of which contribute to the fuzziness of my photos!

In my heart, he’s no ordinary baby boar. He’s my baby boar. I have kept him quiet from the locals who undoubtedly won’t share my affection for him. I certainly don’t think they would be trying to photograph him. This has suddenly put into question my plans to own a pig. If I am becoming attached to a wild one that forages on our land (carefully, I might add – he has not dug up any of our vegetables), how will I cope if I finally have a pig of my own?

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