1. ITV Report

Baby boar found close to death after losing her mother in an annual cull

A baby wild boar called Minty is being looked after in an animal sanctuary after it was found close to death in the Forest of Dean.

Its rescuers believe its mother could have been killed as part of a cull which is carried out every year in the forest.

She was dehydrated and emaciated, she was so close to death and when I first saw her when she came in here I thought there was no hope whatsoever

– Caroline Gould, Vale Wildlife Sanctuary

Video credit: Scott Passmore

Minty had been found collapsed on a drive of a house in the Forest of Dean. A local conservationist got a call and helped drive Minty to the sanctuary.

It's not known how Minty came to be separated from her mother but Scott Passmore believes the cull could be responsible, as the closed season - when shooting wild boar stops - hasn't come into effect yet.

We were dripping water onto Minty's mouth but a couple of times she went completely lifeless and we thought we had lost her. It just seems a little bit inhumane to be killing in their prime breeding season. For the sake of two or three weeks, they maybe should have stopped it in February.

– Scott Passmore, conservationist

Wild boar were released illegally into the forest of dean more than 10 years ago and since then their population has dramatically increased. The forestry commission carries out a cull each year.

Video credit: Scott Passmore

For several years now the Forestry Commission has agreed a voluntary closed season through the main breeding months. We do not take out any sows with young at heel and the closed season is to help manage that.

Boar are very prolific breeders, young females will breed in their second year, and we have above average litter sizes of 8 to 10 piglets per breeding sow, who themselves will breed the following year.

We must remind people that the boar were illegally introduced by persons unknown. The boar are classed as wild animals, and as such do not belong to any one.

– Forestry Commission

Boar are being culled in the forest at the moment though the forestry commission says they don't shoot sows with young litters.

But Caroline Gould of the Vale Wildlife sanctuary near Tewkesbury fears Minty may have been a victim of the cull.