Hungry, raging boar force hog-hunt in east China

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BEIJING, Nov 6 (Reuters) China has lifted a ban on hunting of wild boar in an eastern province following a number of urban raids by hungry hogs in search of food, local media said today.

Dormitories and kitchens in the West Lake area of Hangzhou, capital of coastal Zhejiang province, had come under attack from ravenous boars rushing down from mountainous areas in recent days, the Shanghai Daily said.

''Authorities in the area are planning a campaign this winter to drive away the boar,'' it said.

One broke into a kitchen at a local university on Sunday, ate the leftovers and then ''escaped to a mountainous area'', the paper said.

This followed a report of a 200 kg (440 lb) hog rushing into a security guard's dormitory at a local hospital and jumping on to his daughter's bed.

''The animal then ran toward the intersection of Shuguang Road and Lingyin Road, ramming into a taxi and fleeing to Quyuan Courtyard. The boar was never found,'' the paper said.

The usually protected wild boar had thrived in the West Lake area due to sound ecological conditions and the absence of natural predators, the paper said.

With winter approaching, food had become scarce in the pigs' mountainous habitat, prompting their daring low-land raids, and the need for hunters to drive them away, the paper said.

REUTERS ARB BD1346

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