Wild boars are encroaching on the outskirts of Rome's suburbs, so much so that Romans are afraid to take their children outside for fear of herds of the carnivorous beasts, Yahoo News reports. And the Roman and Italian governments seem reluctant to do anything about it.
Europeans have been living with wild boars for as long as humans have inhabited the continent, but that doesn't mean that the situation has ever been fully under control. And now, with Rome's suburbs expanding into previously-wooded areas and nature preserves, humans and wild boars are increasingly coming into contact with one another.
The animals are lured by trash, a problem made worse by the fact that Rome's waste management process is dysfunctional at best, as The Local reported earlier this summer.
That the pigs are near areas that humans inhabit, rooting around for tasty meals, is becoming a problem for area residents, afraid to take their children or pets outside.
Filippo Cioffi says the animals are getting aggressive.
"We're living in fear, worried that we are going to be attacked. In the past we had cases of female boar being aggressive towards dogs in order to defend their young, but now they are aggressive towards people as well," he said.Making matters worse, says Cioffi, is that requests for help from the government have gone unanswered.
According to Grand View Outdoors, wild boar attacks on humans are not common, but they've been on the increase of late. In one rather alarming case, a group of ISIS fighters was reportedly trampled to death by a herd of the animals.
Back in Rome, nature has provided something of a solution to the problem, although the Romans may find that the cure is worse than the disease -- wolves are making a comeback as well.
The good news: wolves will eat wild boars.
The bad news: they'll attack cattle, pets, and, in some cases, humans.
More bad news: Roman wolves apparently tend to prefer the taste of goats and sheep over wild boar.
Farmer Vincenzino Rota noted the irony that wolves, literally the mythological foundation of Rome, are now menacing Romans.
"The she-wolf is the symbol of Rome, but for a little while now farmers around Rome have not been sleeping well at night," he said.
Making matters worse, wolves have been mixing with domesticated dogs for centuries, which means that most of them have at least some domestic dog DNA in them. And domestic dogs have largely lost their fear of humans, which means that the wolves menacing Rome have, as well.