A German hunter has died after being gored by a wild boar that he was attempting to shoot.
Police in the north-eastern town of Greifswald have announced that the man was on an arranged wild boar hunt with 12 other people when he attempted to shoot the animal. He fired at the boar and moved into a patch of undergrowth, where he was attacked and suffered injuries to his left thigh.
The wound was bleeding heavily and the man fell into a ditch flooded with water. A fellow hunter rushed to his aid, but the man lost consciousness en route to the hospital and subsequently died. It is not known if the boar survived.
Police are now investigating the incident. "We are hoping to discover more clarity in this case," said Martin Cloppenburg, a spokesperson for the state lawyers' office of Stralsund on Tuesday.
The attack occurred on Sunday in the village of Neuenkirchen on the outskirts of Greifswald, near the northern coast of Germany on the Baltic Sea.
"The hunters will always try to kill the boar," said Ulf-Peter Schwarz, the press spokesperson for the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern hunter's federation.
"It is a tragic accident." He acknowledged the risk inherent in hunting such dangerous animals, before adding: "In general, black boars are afraid of humans."
Wild boar attacks are an increasing problem in Germany, where there is a huge population of the animals. Berlin alone is thought to be home to 6,000 wild boars, located in the many forests that surround the city.
People are encouraged to leave them well alone if they see them in the wild and there are public campaigns to eat more of them, as numbers have grown so high that they are becoming less controllable.
This particular attack became more prominent when the Guardian's report on the subject was shared by actor and comedian Ricky Gervais, via his Facebook page. The Office star has been a vocal opponent of animal hunting in recent years.
Hunting is a popular activity in Germany, with an estimated 350,000 registered hunters active. There are extensive protections in existence to safeguard both animals and hunters, and German gun laws are notably strict.
Often hunters will be required to be members of both a hunter's federation and a shooting club to be able to hunt, with both overseeing that they are suitably well-trained to participate in either activity.
Anyone with any criminal record is disbarred from hunting and all potential hunters must pass an examination in both survival skills and shooting, possess extensive personal liability insurance and be over 18 years of age in order to be able to hunt legally anywhere in Germany.
Words: Mike Meehall Wood
Featured Image Credit: PA