Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Boar, the male of the Swine (q.v.). The Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), from which most of the domesticated varieties are probably derived, is a large, fierce animal, usually measuring between 3 ft. and 4 ft., exclusive of the short tail, though greater measurements rest on good authority. The general hue is dusky brown, or greyish with a tendency to black, sometimes diversified by black spots or patches. The head is elongated, the neck short and thick, and the body massive and muscular. In the males the canine teeth, or tusks, form terrible weapons of offence and defence, projecting considerably beyond the jaws. In the domesticated variety these teeth are much reduced in size. The hairs of the body are coarse, and mixed with a kind of wool; those on the neck and shoulders are long enough to form a kind of mane, which the animal erects when enraged. The female is smaller than the male, and has much less prominent tusks; she bears from four to six at a litter, and the young are yellowish, with longitudinal reddish-brown stripes. These animals are, in general, vegetable feeders, though they devour snakes and lizards - the semi-feral pig of the Western States of America is the deadly foe of the rattlesnake - and when pressed by hunger they will even feed on carrion. They are nocturnal in habit, and their practice of ploughing long furrows in the ground in search of roots inflicts much damage on farmers, gardeners, and vine-dressers. There are three types or races of Wild Boar, which some naturalists have dignified with the rank of species - the European, the African, and the Indian. The first is found in Central and Southern Europe; the second in the forests north of the Sahara; and the third in Central and Southern Asia, as far east as New Guinea. The chase of the Indian Wild Boar is in high favour with Europeans: the hunters are mounted and armed with spears, and the sport is popularly known as "pig-sticking." The Wild Boar was formerly common in Britain, but became extinct towards the end of the 17th century. Attempts have been made by sportsmen to introduce these animals once more, as beasts of chase, but in at least one case "the country rose upon them and destroyed them;" and in another, the sportsman who made the experiment was so enraged by a favourite horse being wounded by a wild boar, that he caused the whole herd to be destroyed.