It has recently come to my attention (by ‘recently’ I mean just now in the middle of the forest; and by ‘come to my attention’ I mean via a series of strange animal noises) that, while I am well aware of what to do when confronted by a grizzly bear, mountain lion, or rattle snake… I am considerably less aware of the protocol for cinghiale (Italian wild boars).
I figured I’d do a little research and share the results with you… lest you find yourself in a similar situation.
First, I asked my husband.
He said, “Chase it with tagliatelle.”
So, then I decided to check some online resources.
Apparently these massive beasts are actually quite shy, even though they can become accustomed to human presence in certain cases. They have a sharp sense of smell, but poor eyesight, so once they smell your presence they may get a little closer to see you. Usually, however, they will just run away in a fit of squeals and grunts. And they can run FAST, so don’t think you’ll be able to outrun one!
In the rare occasion that a cinghiale should feel threatened (perhaps you have an agitated or aggressive dog with you, perhaps you have cornered it or separated a mother from her babies, or perhaps you are hunting it… in which case, fair game), it does have the ability to harm a grown man or a large dog… so heed these steps:
1. Talk loudly or yell.
As I mentioned, they are really shy animals. If they hear you coming from a ways off, they’ll scoot off in another direction. If you happen upon one accidentally within close range, just start talking normally and calmly… He’ll most likely want nothing to do with you and scurry away.
I recommend vocalizing a recipe for papardelle con cinghiale, just to really drive the message home. If someone started reciting a recipe about how to cook me, I’d probably back off. That’s my thinking.
2. Back away slowly and steadily.
So, in other words, don’t do what I did today… which was more like this:
Some sources I read said to try and climb a nearby tree, just to be sure to be out of harm’s way. But, honestly, it’s probably not necessary.
And that’s it! Easy, huh?
I forget sometimes that Europe has had many more centuries of dense human populations compared to the US. The fears about wild animals here are almost cute in comparison. Sure, there are some wolves and a few other scary-in-a-Midieval-village-legend sort of way animals. But there’s nothing like the bear or mountain lion attacks you hear about in the US, or the shark attacks in Australia. As my husband says, Italians “have already hunted and cooked most wild animals into submission.” After any conversation about wild animals, he then adds, “mmm, un po’ di rosmarino…perfetto!”