In the first incident, the jogger was slightly injured. The man injured at the football pitch was less fortunate. He sustained a serious injury to his leg, was taken to hospital and has since undergone surgery. The boar had been kept as a pet and had escaped.
The Mayor of Maaseik Johan Tollenaere told VRT News that the wild boar had been shot by a hunter and that it had been necessary to kill the animal.
"The threat had to be removed. If it hadn’t been we would have had to warn people not to go for walks in the woods at Neeroeteren. I think it's good that the animal has been removed from society, however unfortunate it is for the owner. Sometimes, this happens to dogs too if they pose a danger to the public. This is just the same”.
But can you just shoot and kill a wild boar wherever you want? "The area next to the football pitch is a hunting ground. Due to the nuisance they cause in our area the hunting of wild boar is permitted throughout the year. There is no defined hunting season. Wild boar can therefore be shot providing that a hunter can do so in a safe way", Mr Tollenaere told VRT News.
Geert Van den Bosch of the Hubertus hunting association confirms this "If there is an issue, hunters are brought in because they have the know-how and are in possession of a firearm. They see if the can legally shoot the animal and, in this case, all legal requirements appear to have been met”.
The boar had been kept as a pet and had no fear of people. The animal had escaped for its owner’s property.
Mayor Tollenaere told VRT News that “These are animals that weigh 100 kg or more. They have enormous strength and can also be dangerous.”