WATCH | Wild boar on streets of Rome threaten to undermine city's mayor in upcoming election
- Footage of wild boar roaming through Rome's traffic is making residents upset about the Italian capital's "decaying" state.
- The hogs are attracted to trash strewn about Rome's streets and have become common in the region.
- Rome's mayor said she's been taking undue criticism for the boar problem, and is blaming other politicians for not doing their job.
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The pigs are becoming a political problem.
Wild boar invading the streets of Rome might upend the local mayor's chances in an upcoming election.
Footage on Thursday of a herd of hogs mingling in city traffic has brought forth concerns about the state of Italy's capital, which residents say is "decaying" from uncleared rubbish, potholes, and graffiti. Wild boar, in particular, are attracted to piles of trash strewn about the city and have become a common sight in the city and its surrounding areas, according to local media.
A video that went viral in May shows a group of six boars - four adults and two piglets - cornering a woman outside a supermarket near Rome before raiding her groceries.
Last year, a wild sow and six piglets were shot dead at a playground near the Vatican, prompting outrage from animal activists and some Roman citizens, reported The New York Times. Hours before the animals were shot, families and their children had been feeding the hogs.
In 2019, hundreds of farmers protested the influx of the wild beasts, which they say have been destroying their farmlands and causing road accidents - wild boar are responsible for 10,000 road accidents a year, per local media.
The city's mayor, Virginia Raggi, said rival politicians are unjustifiably pinning the boar invasion on her.
"My detractors continue to use photos and videos of wild boars around Rome, giving me all responsibility," she wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
"It is clear that wild boar are a problem that does not only concern the capital. If a lady is chased by a wild boar in Formello, a small town north of Rome, the next day, the newspapers say I am responsible," wrote Raggi, who is a member of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement political party.
Raggi is seeking re-election in the upcoming October mayoral elections, and she's taken aim at her opponents for the boar problem, which is seen mainly as a symptom of Rome's upkeep mismanagement.
Earlier this month, she opened a criminal lawsuit against officials running the Lazio region surrounding Rome for "the massive and uncontrolled presence of wild boar in Italy's capital," reported The Guardian.
She accused Nicola Zingaretti, the regional government's leader and a politician from Italy's Democratic Party, of failing to enact "effective management plans" for the boars.
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