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Wild Boars Turn out to Be Headache for Farmers

Wild boars in rural areas around Beijing are destroying what could otherwise have been a bumper harvest.

Seventy-year-old Dong Decai is one of the victims of the animals that chewed up nearly one-third of his corn crop in the Sisi Village in Beijing's Yanqing County in the past week, reported the Beijing News.


The same thing happened in the Jiuxianmiao Village near the Badaling section of the Great Wall.


One villager surnamed Song said on Friday that much of his corn crop was eaten up and there were lots of strange footprints left behind, reported the Beijing Times.


"In addition to my crop, the crops of other families were also ruined," Song told the newspaper.


Footprints matched those usually left behind by wild boars.


On Friday, the sound of firecrackers in the village could be heard from far away. "The fireworks can drive boars away," said Song.


As the environment in Beijing's suburbs improves, wildlife populations, including boars and pheasants, in some mountainous villages are growing.


Forestry staff said farmers whose crops were damaged by wild animals will receive compensation from the government, the Beijing News reported.


Last year, 17,200 yuan (US$2,080) was paid to farmers in the Pianpoyu and Shuikouzi villages in Yanqing for damage to 4.2 hectares of crops.


Boars have also become a headache for farmers in the Mahuiling Township of Jiujiang County, Jiangxi Province, Xinhua News Agency reported.


Boars, which used to appear sporadically, are now reproducing in large quantities and harassing local farmers.


With no natural predators in the area such as wolves, their numbers are growing.


While July is traditionally a good season for watermelon farmers in Mahuiling, their best expectations are being shattered by wild boars.


Chen Yibin, a village leader of the Chaoyang Village in Mahuiling, estimated that there are at least five to six hundred around the village.


Experts say the appearance of so many boars shows an improvement in the environment, but as their natural predators have not recovered at the same speed boars could cause big problems for farmers.


(China Daily August 23, 2004)

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