Wild boar drops in for coffee

In Turbigo, western Milan suburb.

Despite the early hour, the Caffè Italia in Turbigo, in Milan province less than 50 km from the city, was packed early on Sunday morning as residents prepared for a village festival planned for later in the day. Around 40 people had stopped in for a cappuccino when they were joined by a young wild boar.

Aged around a year and a half, the perplexed animal had apparently first tried to conduct some business in the town hall. Unfortunately, it chose the old town hall, now abandoned, and had to break down a door and roam around the building, but found no clerk on duty at their desk.

Back on the street, the boar spotted a passing dog. It may have asked for directions, or merely decided that the dog knew the way and followed it. But the startled dog was not inclined to help, and ran for the café, perhaps where its owner was having breakfast, and the unusual pair spread panic as they dashed through the busy streets to Caffè Italia.

Cups and saucers flew through the air, and breakfasters leapt aside or onto chairs as the boar dashed through the café and out into the rear courtyard, fortunately closed by a gate. Quick-thinking owner Lucia Tapella slammed the rear door, and the young intruder was trapped.

Wild boar 2

A procession of carabinieri, firemen and wildlife guards took turns throughout the morning to resolve the situation. One of the guards, trying to sedate the ungrateful animal, was slightly wounded in the hand.

Once it was clear that the boar had no intention of peacefully enjoying a cappuccino and cornetto, it was put down. “A pity,” Ms Tapella told media, “what a sad end. But we’re being invaded by wild boars and nutrias here on the edge of the Ticino nature reserve, and they’re ruining the crops and bringing disease.”

Wild boar are increasingly invading urban areas in Italy, attracted by freely available food in rubbish skips. In Rome, a motorcyclist was recently thrown from his bike and killed, while another boar was filmed racing up a central street in February.