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from Mainichi Online


Kobe goes the whole hog to stop boars pigging out

(Mainichi Shimbun, Feb. 23, 2002)

KOBE -- The Kobe Municipal Government will ban the feeding of wild boars in an effort to stop the hungry pigs streaming into town and attacking innocent people.

Kobe officials received 211 complaints on wild boars visiting the town from the Rokko mountain range last year, four times more than in 1996, including 20 cases of the animals "hurling themselves at people."

The ransacking of garbage collection sites was another common problem. In response, officials formed a panel of animal experts and local residents to discuss why so many boars invaded the streets of Kobe last year.

The panel found that hikers in the Rokko mountains and even residents in town often feed wild boars with tasty treats such as sweet potatoes, making them unafraid of people.

Another factor inviting wild boars to town was kitchen garbage left in collection sites during the night.

Based on the findings, Kobe officials will for the first time in the nation ban the feeding of wild boars and forbid the dumping of kitchen refuse in selected areas in the port city.

"We want you to understand that the reason wild boars attack people is because of our own actions," one of the officials said.

The officials plan to submit an ordinance bill on the ban to the municipal assembly for approval on Monday, hoping that it will take effect in May.

Under the bill, violators are warned against feeding wild boars and a written letter is sent to repeat offenders. The Nikko Municipal Government and a village in Gunma Prefecture ban the feeding of apes.

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