Photo: Matador Network/TikTok

A Wild Boar Got Loose on the Slopes at a Japanese Ski Resort

Wildlife Ski and Snow
by Matador Creators Feb 17, 2023

Skiing is an outdoor sport where you don’t expect many wildlife encounters. You might see some birds or small woodland creatures like snow hares or squirrels. Your chances of seeing larger animals like fox, deer, or moose increase if you’re skiing in the backcountry, but when it comes gliding down groomers at a resort, encountering anything other than your fellow skiers and snowboarders would come as a surprise — particularly if that encounter is with a wild boar. But that’s exactly what happened at the Alpen Blick Snow Resort in Myōkō City, Japan.

@matadornetwork Four snowboarders got an unexpected surprise when a #wildboar barged in on their fun at the Myoko Ski Resort in Japan @joeyosoko #wildboars #snowboardingtiktok #japantok #snowboarding ♬ original sound – A – ✧A✧

Earlier this month, a local boot-fitting and snow-tuning shop called Joey’s posted footage of a boar charging a group of snowboarders at the base of a ski slope. One of the snowboarders was knocked over from behind while three others fled. A second snowboarder was then rushed by the boar before it sprinted away but shielded himself with his snowboard.

Alpen Blick Snow Resort, or Ikenotaira, is a ski resort on Mount Myōkō in the Niigata Prefecture of Honshu, Japan’s main island. It’s one of Japan’s oldest ski mountains and a popular destination for deep powder skiing and snowboarding.

Wild boars are native to Honshu and commonly spotted in the mountains and forests, although they’re no strangers to Japanese cities or suburbs. The country’s boar population has seen significant growth over the past few decades, which many people attribute to the fact that hunters are becoming more scarce as Japan’s human population ages. The abundance of wild boars has resulted in more frequent encounters, attacks, and occasional fatalities. The average adult Japanese boar weighs more than 200 pounds.

What to do if you see a wild boar

The likelihood that you’ll be charged by a wild boar while skiing in Japan is slim, but there are a few things to keep in mind if you ever do encounter a wild boar in any setting. According to NParks, Singapore’s National Parks Board, these are the steps to take:

  • Stay calm, back away from the boar slowly, and keep a safe distance
  • Refrain from provoking the boar by approaching it, trying to feed it, taking photos of it, or otherwise disturbing the animal
  • Take extra caution around adult boars with their young as they can be extra aggressive in order to protect their piglets.

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