Wild Boars Are Huge and Vicious, German Town Learns After Rampage

A wild boar mother tends to her piglets. Victims of boar attacks include ISIS militants, the mythical figure Adonis and now people in a German town. Markus Schroeder on Flickr

Two boars entered a bank in a small town in Germany on Friday morning and injured four people, according to the German Newspaper The Local.

The damage: One person lost a section of his finger, one bank manager's leg was injured and one of the boars died. Two other people were injured, and fire crews had to rescue people out the windows of a bank.

One boar escaped into the forest. Another, which police tried to barricade in the bank, squeezed through the door and under a car. One of several hunters who had been called in to kill the boars shot the boar running from the bank. It died after one shot.

While boars may seem like simple pigs in the forest, they are actually among the most vicious animals one can encounter in nature. Unlike the piglet Wilbur in the 2006 film adaptation of Charlotte's Web, adult pigs and wild boars can reach several hundred pounds.

Wild boars have a history of killing humans who get too close. In August 2016, a wild boar killed an Italian man. They have killed ISIS militants. Even the divine figure Adonis from Greek mythology met his end at the tusks of a boar. Victims of boar attacks can sometimes be mistaken for homicides, because the injuries that the animals inflict with their tusks are like stab wounds.

Boars are so brutal in their attacks that there is even a special tool designed just for killing them: A boar spear has a horizontal bar near its blade. An injured, impaled boar could continue to rush recklessly toward you, driving the blade through its own body as it does so. The horizontal bar should, theoretically, prevent the boar from reaching and goring you.

Visualizing the size of wild boars can be difficult, as shots of hunters with their kill are very often taken using forced perspective: Put the animal in front, step a few feet back, and have your partner take a picture while crouching—it will make your game look more impressive. In 2007, images of a "monster pig" killed by a boy in Alabama flooded the internet. The image turned out to be a hoax, a digitally altered picture made to gain attention. However, occasionally, verified boars appear in the media (generally after hunters have shot them). In July, an Alabama man killed an 820-pound beast of a wild hog. Domestic pigs can get even bigger.

Boar is a popular animal for hunters to kill, and in some cases boar-hunting can even be considered a conservation measure. Despite the fact that boars eat mostly plant matter, they will also eat eggs and sometimes prey on smaller animals. Boars can alter landscapes by digging up roots, wallowing in mud, and damaging trees. Because of these actions, boars are considered "nuisance wildlife" in several states, such as Texas. That means that there are fewer limitations on how, when and where a hunter can kill a boar.

One of the boars is still on the loose in the forest near the small German town. Perhaps he will have learned from his deceased partner in crime not to mess with the dangerous beasts who live there.