Wild boar chosen as Animal of the Year

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The wild boar (Sus scrofa) was selected to be the Animal of the Year for 2015 in both Latvia and Estonia, reported the Latvian Nature Museum Friday.

The wild boar is the world’s largest creature amongst the porcine family. The Nature Museum has set up a promotional stand to celebrate the wild boar all year long, hosting informative events and activities. The first of those will be an interactive Family Day on January 24, where kids and adults can learn about the wild boar, where it lives in Latvia, what it eats, what it does during the winter and summer.

Another event will be the ongoing photography contest “Wild pigs – real pigs” in cooperation with Estonian nature journal Loodusesõber (Nature’s Friend) and wilderness webcam portal Looduskalender.ee. The contest accepts previously unpublished photos of wild boar or evidence of wild boar activity in various situations, accompanied by a story of the framed encounter.

For the first time since the Animal of the Year nominations were introduced, the creature is not among the endangered or protected species usually singled out for the distinction. However the wild boar has been at the front of people’s minds in the Baltic states all year long because of the African swine flu (ASF) outbreak that hit Latvia especially hard, but hasn’t bypassed its neighbors either.

Last year’s Animal of the Year 2014 was the grey wolf.

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