PEOPLE have been warned to be on their guard after a group of wild boar that escaped from a Perthshire estate four months ago were spotted on a nearby hill.
Farmers have been hunting the seven animals, which fled during bad weather in December, and they are thought to have shot some of them.
Louise Ramsay, who runs the Bamff estate where the escape took place, said the animals were not usually dangerous, but they might turn on walkers if they accidentally got between them and their young.
She said: “It was completely unintentional and very regrettable. They’ve been living on the hills since December.
“The farmers don’t like it, and they can be rather difficult on farm land as they dig up the ground. A number of them have been shot.”
The animals went missing when trees surrounding their enclosure were blown down in a storm. Mrs Ramsay said the estate was trying to lure them back to their enclosure so they could be contained.
The Bamff estate kept 25 wild boar as “forestry assistants” to help clearing seed beds for new trees as well as to produce wild boar meat.
A Perth & Kinross Council spokesman said: “Wild boar are usually nocturnal, foraging in early morning or late afternoon.
“Although these animals will normally avoid people, members of the public in the area are advised to keep their dog on a lead or under close control, and are reminded to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.”
Any sightings should be reported to the council’s animal welfare team on 01738 476476.
Wild boars, once extinct in Scotland, have enjoyed such a resurgence that they have become a pest, killing lambs and destroying crops, according to the Scottish Gamekeepers Association.