Lean, tasty and too many – time to eat wild boar?

If Swedes become less sensitive to what the Anglo-Saxons are doing (Atkins, 5:2) and take aim at their domestic potential, the wild boar diet could very well be the next thing on the menu for eco-conscious Swedes.

Lean, tasty and too many - time to eat wild boar?
A Swedish hunter takes aim at wild boar for dinner. Files: TT

Earlier this year, the Swedish government earmarked 51 million kronor to its work on how to manage the country's wild boar (vildsvin) population next year. In part because the wild boars have gotten so numerous that they now threaten farms and sometimes get in the way of cars. In Blekinge County, wild boar attacked hunters twice this season. 

Unfortunately for the wild boar, their meat is delicious. It's quite lean, and as it's a gamey version of pork it has a distinct flavour. Being more than edible, the wild boars thus offer eco-conscious Swedes who don't want to give up meat, but may have ethical concerns about the industrial meat industry, a bit of a golden opportunity. Filling their bellies while helping Swedish hunters get to grips with the swollen boar population. 

For many Swedes, the notion of eating wild boar might bring to mind the popular Belgian comics about Asterix and Obelix, but the cooking website, which specializes in cooking game, shows that eating boar can put a new twist on old Swedish recipes, but why not add strips to a Cesar salad? The site has an entire subsection dedicated to wild boar meat.

From ragu, chilli, sausages and spare ribs, the list is exhaustive and there is even a suggestion to replace the Christmas ham with a Christmas boar. 

Getting your hands on it doesn't need to be difficult., which is part of the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management (Svenska Jägareförbundet), suggests ordering game from your local supermarket, who will in many cases have the meat with you within just a few days, but also point out you can now order meat straight from the producers, and include a smattering of companies to chose from.

If you want to shoot your own boar, however, it could be time to get a hunting license. For more information, in English, here. 

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Norway hunter admits to shooting elk in zoo

The hunter in Norway who shot two elk in a zoo a fortnight ago has admitted to police that he killed the animals, but claims he was unaware he was shooting through a fence.

Norway hunter admits to shooting elk in zoo
Two of the elk at Polar Park. Photo: Polar Park
In a formal police interview on Monday, the man admitted to shooting an elk inside an enclosure, a crime which carries a maximum penalty of one year’s imprisonment. 
“The hunter acknowledges that he is guilty of violating of the Wildlife Act in that he shot an elk standing inside the enclosure,” Katrine Grimnes, police superintendent with the police in Målselv, told NRK
“He also acknowledges that he may have caused the bullet wounds suffered by the calf, which later had to be euthanized. But he said that he had not at any time seen the calf.” 
Grimnes said that the forensic veterinary report backed up this claim, with the bullet appearing to have passed through the body of the bull elk and then on into the calf. 
She said that a police visit to the site of the accident backed up the hunter’s claim that the fence was not easy to see. 
“We’ve even been on site and we also see that it can be hard to spot the fence, which is partially hidden by vegetation,” Grimnes said.
Heinz Strathmann, the chief executive of Polar Park, told The Local that while he accepted the shooting had been an accident, he struggled to see the hunter as completely blameless. 
“What I know is that the fence is a metal fence and it’s four metres high. If you couldn’t see it, there must have been a lot of trees, and if there are a lot of trees you shouldn’t shoot,” he said. “I’m a hunter myself and I don’t shoot if there are a lot of trees.”  
He said that the adult elk, which was born in the park, had been one and a half years old, while the calf was born in the spring. 
“We were at first very surprised, and we are sad about it, of course,” he said. “The animals we have, we know them closely and we have a relationship with them. If you lose two of your close animals you are more than sad.” 
But he said the zoo was not concerned about whether the hunter was punished. 
“My first thoughts were not about revenge. The police are handling the case, and if they find out that he’s done something illegal, they will probably give him quite a fine, but that's not my main concern. My main concern is that two of our animals died in a tragic accident. I don’t think this was done intentionally.”