In and around Rome, it’s not uncommon to see hairy wild boars rummaging through garbage bins or wandering down the street. And while residents have mostly resigned themselves to coexisting with the animals, the situation appears to be getting worse. Some of the animals now have a contagious disease, and others have injured the humans that live in their ever-expanding habitat.
The Italian government plans to cull the population after at least one wild boar tested positive for African swine fever in the Insugherata Nature Reserve this week; another two animals found in the same area are likely positive as well, reports state-owned news broadcaster Rai.
The disease doesn’t threaten humans. But that doesn’t mean they’re safe from Italy’s boars; in recent months, residents have reported multiple cases of porcine aggression toward people. In parts of northern Rome, the city is banning outdoor picnics, and some neighborhoods are even implementing curfews to deter pig-human contact.
Though animals tested positive for the disease in the country’s northwestern Piedmont and Liguria regions earlier this year, this is the first time officials have detected African swine fever in animals near the Italian capital, reports the Guardian’s Angela Giuffrida.