As far as I know, boars are pretty aggressive when they have piglets. In the appropriate season, one might happen to hike into the path of an overprotective mother and get attacked.

How do I react to an aggressive boar? Are there any warnings or do they just instantly rush towards you?

Loosely related: What are the odds that I stand a chance against Wild Boars?

  • 1
    I looked up wild boar, and it refers to both males and females. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_boar for a picture of a female wild boar. (Scroll down for pictures of piglets.) (OddDeer I made a few edits of what seemed to be typos. If I changed your meaning, just change them back.)
    – ab2
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 21:35
  • See backcountryattitude.com/wild-pigs.html for wild pig attack and what to do. It's too long for me to summarize -- as a hunter, you would find it easier to summarize it as an Answer than I would.
    – ab2
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 1:26

2 Answers 2


Possible threats

First of all we should consider what threats may apply:

Potential Threats to Hikers from Wild Pigs wild boar with sharp tusks

  • Feral pigs can exhibit aggressive territorial behaviors.

  • Hogs may weigh up to 300 pounds or more, can charge at least 11 mph and can quickly attack hikers.

  • Boars have four extremely sharp tusks up to five inches long that can severely injure or kill a hiker.

  • Hikers can contract disease (undulant fever, etc) from any contact with an infected hog.

  • Pigs can contaminate water sources with their feces.

I think it's especially interesting that a boar can harm you more than just with its direct physical charges.

Sharp tusks

How an attack looks like

Friends of the boar have summarized how an encounter might look like from the beginning. I want to show of the warn signs which should ring your bells to prevent an actual charge.

(If you see a group of boars,) at least one of the boars will become more active now, usually a juvenile, and will walk towards you, maybe a little nervous, sometimes turning round to return to the others. The move towards you is for a better look, for they have very poor eyesight. Others may soon join in. It may take just a few seconds for this to happen.

Now, this is not aggression. They are not ganging up on you, but are being brave and facing their potential threat. They are like children now, excited and about to be proud of warning mum that they have spotted you. Mum may now join in, sniffing you and deciding whether to walk or run away. If she decides to run, she will belt out a loud grunt or snort, and turn tail. At this moment, all the younger boar will also flee at high speed away from you. It's all rush and noise, and you hear feet stampeding away. That's usually it.

Mum may stop shortly afterwards and take another look at you, maybe even walk back towards you. Again, this is not aggression. She is saying to you, "You saw how fast we are so don't bother following." She will either stay and start feeding again, or if you move towards her in the hope of a photo, she will grunt again and run.

How does a boar behave if push comes to shove?

Friends of the boar and Wikipedia:

Even in these terrible circumstances for the boar, the boar attack is very fast and is not a charge made from many meters away. The boar are close to the aggressor, maybe just a second or two away.

Actual attacks on humans are rare, but can be serious, resulting in multiple penetrating injuries to the lower part of the body. They generally occur during the boars' rutting season from November–January, in agricultural areas bordering forests or on paths leading through forests. The animal typically attacks by charging and pointing its tusks towards the intended victim, with most injuries occurring on the thigh region. Once the initial attack is over, the boar steps back, takes position and attacks again if the victim is still moving, only ending once the victim is completely incapacitated.

Also be aware that there might be a different "charge style":

A female bites you. Her head doesn't lower. Instead, look for her shackles on the shoulders to rise and maybe her tail stand erect. She will also growl.

How to react

A boar doesn't charge instantly. It gives you warnings (a lot of them actually - see the previous section). I know, the question is more about the point where it's already too late, but it's worth to mention how you can prevent a charge in the first place.

(If a) boar may walk straight at you (...), stand tall and shout at (it). Move towards (it) confidently but not aggressively, and (it) will probably move out of your way.

If (it) follows you don't panic but keep walking away - (it) will soon get fed up. Just be confident, if (it) is tame she will not hurt you.

Nearly the same thing applies to react to a the described "bite attack". If ever you see these signs, move away confidently, reassuring her with soft words rather than screams or shouts.

You may sometimes hear a growl from scrub where she is hiding with her piglets. If you ever hear growling in the scrub, don't wait to see her, go back immediately from where you came.

You should take these actions to defend yourself:

How to Survive if Threatened:

  • If you ever have a faceoff with a hostile pig your best option to defend yourself may be to climb the nearest tree, boulder, car, etc.

  • You want to get at least 6 feet off of the ground because large pigs can somewhat "walk" up a tree trunk with their front legs.

  • If a pig charges and you can't escape you can try to sidestep very quickly to avoid the potential swing of its tusks.

  • Your last resort may be to physically fight back with whatever means possible until the mauling ends.

  • While fighting back try to remain standing. People who fall or are knocked to the ground can sustain more serious injuries.

  • Most assaults on humans are over in under one minute.

Taken from http://www.backcountryattitude.com/wild-pigs.html. ab2 found this nice resource:

See backcountryattitude.com/wild-pigs.html for wild pig attack and what to do. It's too long for me to summarize -- as a hunter, you would find it easier to summarize it as an Answer than I would.

Further reading

As the victims of boar attack are usually recovered from dense forest areas, the investigating officers could be misled as to the nature of infliction of these multiple, fatal penetrating injuries to a possible homicide. Unlike the injuries inflicted by wild cats, canines and bulls, the hallmark of boar attack is the infliction of multiple penetrating injuries to the lower part of the body. This case is reported for its rarity, for the awareness of the possible injuries in such unnatural deaths, and for the factors predisposing to a boar attack.

Lower extremity lacerations of up to 10 cm in length and 4 cm deep were seen in the 3 cases reviewed.

  • Downvoter migth want to add a comment?
    – OddDeer
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 16:07
  • Not the downvoter but in How to react section the quote says move toward the bore then you describe moving away from it. Could you clarify in what cases you should move toward the animal, and at what point that approach turns into you gaining distance from the animal? Do you pass it and walk backward away from it or what?
    – cr0
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 21:28
  • @cr0 this is about two different cases. "When being followed" and "when being attacked". I'll clarify this.
    – OddDeer
    Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 6:07

I’m all for carrying a 357 magnum orca marlin 444 loaded with hollow points and pop a cap into them aggressive or not. Here in Florida you can’t even hike anymore with the things getting weird.By hike I mean HIKE, not little park walks ( but lately they are there as well) but long walks into the jungle. You see one kill it, you see many kill them all. They consistently ruin my lawn. Those die as well. Those with a cross bow because it’s in a neighborhood.Bottom line is just kill them if you can.


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