The Brits call it the "silly season." In Germany the media call it the Sommerloch, literally "the summer hole."
What they are referring to is the fact that when politicians and businesspeople close up shop and go away for the major European summer holidays, the number of serious news stories tends to diminish -- meaning desperate hacks need to find something else to fill the hole. That could be concocted scandals, minor celebrity gossip or spurious health scares. But the average German journalist's best friend during the Sommerloch is undoubtedly the offbeat animal story.
SPIEGEL ONLINE presents a selection of stories from Germany's news agencies which might not have made the cut in fall, winter or spring.
Party Pigs Live Life In The Fast Lane
Wild boar in Germany: Swinging swine like this one caused a traffic jam.
Life in the fast lane doesn't come without its disadvantages. And in this case, those disadvantages included a bunch of hunters, tasked by the police to slay the porkers next time they turned up on the motorway.
As part of Sunday's operation, the fast lane was closed and a police helicopter hovered overhead to observe the boar party from above. But not a single swine made an appearance. Meanwhile a traffic jam 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) long had developed. The pig hunt was called off after 15 minutes.
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