By Wendy Brown
U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Public Affairs Office
The last time Spc. Darrell Cole felt safe letting his dog Dakota off her leash at night behind their home on Westfalenstrasse in Aukamm Housing was Jan. 13.
That was the evening Cole briefly let Dakota off her leash to use the bathroom, and she immediately ran to the fence and started barking. “I heard stuff crashing in the woods behind the fence,” he said, “but I didn’t see anything. I didn’t know what it was, and then the following morning I came out in daylight and I saw that the ground was all rooted up.”
Cole correctly surmised that a pack of wild boars caused the damage, and he alerted Col. James Brashear, director of the Defense Science and Technology Center-Europe, who sent out a warning about the animals. Other residents have reported seeing a pack of about three adults and four young boars in the area. They dig up the grass in search of insects to eat.
Residents who live in the area should keep their dogs on leashes and stay away from the back sides of the buildings at night, said Beate Zuber, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Directorate of Public Works building coordinator program manager. Wild boars are nocturnal and hide during the day.
Under no circumstances should anyone feed the boars or attempt to approach them, Zuber said.
Members of the Housing Office and DPW are aware of the issue and will work with the city of Wiesbaden to eliminate the problem, Zuber said. There is no plan to hurt any of the boars.
As soon as possible, housing personnel plan to replace a section of the fence where the boars can enter the housing area from the wooded area behind it, said Peter Zeisberger, DPW Operations and Maintenance solid waste manager.
It is likely the boars will leave on their own by spring, and if they do not, the garrison will work with German forest officials to shoo them away from the area, Zeisberger said.
It is also possible the boars will leave if the ground becomes too frozen for them to dig up, Zeisberger said.
In the meantime, however, people should be careful and not create reasons for the boars to hang around.
For that reason, it is important to keep trash cans inside the trash condos so the boars do not try to get at food inside the containers, Zuber said.
Wild boars avoid people and active areas, but if injured or threatened, they could become aggressive, said Brashear.
Wild boars can also become dangerous if they have piglets, Brashear said.
Since the boars have been reported to have young ones with them, it is important to never get between a mother boar and her babies, Zeisberger said.
Cole noted further damage Jan. 23 in an area one building up from the one in which he lives. One resident saw an adult boar in the area that morning before the sun came up. The damage was about 20 feet wide by 40 feet long.
“They go for grubs in the ground and roots. We have all this nice grass here, and it’s like a salad bar to them,” Cole said.