Parts of Rome were placed under curfew recently and the reason may surprise you and give you food for thought.
It wasn’t due to power shortages or Covid-19, but an influx of wild boars looking for food.
Picnickers are a particular target for the beasts that often prowl with a litter of piglets in tow. Footage of a shopper dropping her bags and fleeing after being confronted in a supermarket carpark have gone viral.
Around the world however far more dangerous creatures have now developed a taste for human food with the number of kleptoparasites – creatures that steal the food already procured by another –on the rise.
In the US and Canada grizzly and brown bears have developed a particular taste for junk food. So much so that researchers have now warned it is reducing the time they spend hibernating.
The National Park Service has even turned to humour in a bid to get the bear safety message across. Advising people not to hike alone and to keep their distance from any bears it also suggests: if confronted by a bear don’t play dead – as bears can spot bad acting; don’t climb a tree to escape – bears will be better than you at this and finally, don’t sacrifice a friend by pushing them over so you can outrun them.
Sperm whales have the biggest brains on the planet and in Alaska have put their grey cells to good use. They’ve learnt to recognise the sound of fishing boat hydraulics and the best time to pounce to devour fish from nets or on longlines. Real-time tracking of whales is now being developed so that fishing boats know to head elsewhere.
In Sri Lanka elephants have learnt that by walking into the road near the national park they can stop the traffic. Amazing footage shows one male then teaching a son how to reach with its trunk into the back of delivery trucks and remove any food. The adult is shown taking bundles of sugar cane whilst discarding non-edible items.
Britain’s shoppers may not face such the perils but urban foxes still prowl at night on the lookout for food and in several seaside resorts, holidaymakers can find their open bag of chips a target for seagulls.
Thankfully, with the SK range of foods you can enjoy delicious tastes from around the globe without having to battle with elephants, bears or sperm whales – though you might want to put a lock on the fridge door to prevent fellow family members from pilfering your onion bhajis, chicken pakora, or vegetable samosas!
In West Sussex one householder set up a video camera after hearing noises in the night. The candid camera revealed a badger using the cat-flap to sneak into the kitchen, open the fridge door and treat itself to a midnight feast of eggs and Bakewell tart.