28 June 2014

'T'is the time for birthing

After our experience earlier this month with a doe and her newly born fawn, we took particular attention to some strange grunting and panting that was taking place on the hill behind the guest bedroom. Stu climbed up to investigate and was given a frighteningly loud bark of a warning by a cinghiale! We wondered if a birthing was under way. Some quick internet surfing told us that mating season is autumn, gestation is 4 months and birthing takes 2-3 hours. We decided to have a cuppa and review the situation in 3 hours. One of us thought it was just lovely that nature was happening within metres of our house (me). The other thought that we should phone the pig hunters (Stu). Since we were at opposite ends of the tolerance spectrum, I did some more surfing to see how long they might remain a close threat and found that cinghiale keep their piglets at the birthing location for 4-6 days only then move them. When the grunting and panting stopped after 3 hours, we decided we could and should give nature time and left them in peace. Sure enough, the paddock was quiet within a week. Over the last few years we have noticed bivvies at various locations in our top paddock and wondered what they were. It is now clear that our quiet little top paddock has been the annual birthing location for cinghiales for many years...

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