Eight-Inch Leg Wound Wild Boar Attacks Pensioner in Berlin

A chance encounter with a wild boar ended in a trip to the emergency room for one unlucky Berlin pensioner. The boar tore open the man's leg in a bid to protect her piglets from the man's dog.

A Berlin pensioner is recovering in hospital from a horrific injury inflicted by a wild boar.

Nikolaus Basedow, 69, was out walking his dog, Tobi, a Doberman-German shepherd cross, near his home in Berlin's Köpenick district on Tuesday evening when he encountered two female wild boars on the other side of the street. What spelled trouble for Basedow was the fact that the boars were accompanied by their young piglets.

"Tobi was surprised and barked," Basedow told the mass circulation Berlin daily BZ. "Then it all happened very quickly."

As a frightened Tobi, alarmed by the boars' warning noises, took cover behind his owner, one of the sows ran toward Basedow. "The huge sow -- she was a real monster -- slammed into me, right in the middle of the pavement, and tore my calf open from bottom to top with its teeth," Basedow told the newspaper. The boar left a massive 20-cm (8-inch) wound in his leg.

Basedow called the fire department on his cell phone and managed to drag himself home, where a neighbor administered first aid. The wounded pensioner was taken to hospital, where the wound was sewn up.

Accroding to Derk Ehlert, expert for wild animals at Berlin's Senate Department for Urban Development, there are probably between 4,000 and 6,000 wild boars living in and around Berlin, attracted by the city's green corridors and plentiful supply of food. "Wild boars normally don't simply attack people," he told SPIEGEL ONLINE Thursday, explaining that the rare incidents of boar-on-human violence -- what he prefers to call "accidental bites" rather than attacks -- were generally the result of a "series of unfortunate events."

In the case of the attack on Basedow, Ehlert said, the sow was simply trying to protect her piglets from the dog. "The man unfortunately got in the way of the boar and the dog," he said.


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