AFTER we shared a brilliant photograph of a family of wild boars near Monmouth earlier this week, many of you got in touch to share your messages about the animals.

It’s fair to say the boars, which roam the Forest of Dean and are sometimes seen by keen walkers, have split opinion.

After reading Tessie Cooling’s story of her encounter with the boars earlier this week, photographer Chris Bluett has reflected on his ramblings in the forest, and has explained why Mrs Cooling was wise to keep her distance.

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Wild boars near Monmouth. Picture: Faraway Photography

“I often see them in the forest when I’m walking and I can categorically say they are a nuisance,” Mr Bluett said, no punches pulled.

“The reason they are nuisance in my opinion is because people have fed them time and time again, and now they approach humans quite comfortably. The issue there is they’re dangerous.”

Both of Mr Bluett's dobermanns have been badly injured by the boars while walking in the forest near Monmouth.

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Mr Bruett's dogs, Sonar and Reddington. Picture: Faraway Photography

On the second occasion last summer, one of his dogs suffered a punctured artery, and required extensive veterinary treatment.


“All of a sudden I just saw this boar come out of the undergrowth and charge at us,” he said. “It lifted the dog off the floor.

"I was so fortunate that I carry a suitable first aid kit otherwise he would have died whilst I carried him out of the forest."

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The aftermath of the attack, when Mr Bruett's dog needed urgent first aid

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Sonar. Picture: Faraway Photography

Before that, Mr Bluett said he’d never had an issue with the boars, who he said were relatively calm while he photographed them.

“I really was that close up when I took the photos,” he said. “I thought with no provocation they were generally quite calm animals, but I was a little sceptical.

“I would really warn people against feeding them.”

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Posing for the photograph. Picture: Faraway Photography

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Not too close. Picture: Faraway Photography

A spokesman for the Forestry Commission, based in England, said: “Sightings of boar families are quite common in the Forest of Dean. The population was last estimated at 1,172 animals in March 2019.

“Smaller numbers are known to be in the surrounding area, so it is possible to encounter them around Monmouth.

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Mr Bruett said the animals appeared calm when he took photos of them. Picture: Faraway Photography

“Adult males are usually solitary animals, but groups of up to 24 females and young can be encountered at a time.

“The great majority of encounters are trouble free, however, boar can be dangerous if they feel threatened. It is inadvisable to approach them or to follow them when they move away. Dogs should be kept close to the heel.”