Ancestors of domestic pigs, wild boars are tough, resourceful omnivores that have presented humans since prehistoric times with a tricky situation: they make for a delicious food source, but they are formidable animals with long tusks that can inflict serious harm. Wild Boar traces the interaction of humans and boars in fascinating detail, showing how our relationship has evolved over time and how it can be seen today as fundamentally representative of the questions at the heart of ecological preservation and restoration.
Dorothy Yamamoto takes us from the dense streets of Tokyo to the Forest of Dean in England to show how wild boars have survived in a variety of settings. She also explores the ways that they have figured in our imaginations, whether as the iconic Calydonian Boar from Ancient Greece, the White Boar of Richard III, or any of the other forms it has taken in mythology and lore. As she shows, the boar has been an especially prominent figure in hunting culture, and as such it has often been construed as a larger-than-life monster that only the most heroic of us can take down, a misperception that has threatened the boar’s survival in many parts of the world. With an illuminating combination of natural with cultural history, this book paints a vibrant portrait of a unique and often misunderstood animal.