Text Vahur Sepp, forester
Photo Sven Začek, www.zacekfoto.ee
Boar; Wild boar Metssiga Sus scrofa
Boars, like most mammals, see less well than humans but they notice moving objects well. If you stand quite still with a favourable wind a boar can pass a human within a few steps without noticing.
With regard to hearing we certainly come second to boars. Boars are able to detect and distinguish sounds and determine their location better than humans. Moving in a herd causes noise that disturbs hearing. At each suspect crackle a collective listening pause is made. Sometimes these can last quite long, a minute or more. In case of more serious suspicion an experienced herd member goes to investigate the origin of the sound more closely.
The sense of smell has a decisive importance. Of our forest inhabitants, only the bear can compete in sensing smells. The scent of a human is a sign of danger to all game animals. Human traces outside paths made less than 12 hours ago always make boars cautious.
On smelling danger boars make a blowing sound. Hearing that sound you can be sure that you have been discovered. However quiet you stay the boars will not appear in your view. The boar herd will leave making warning noises.