‘Frozen’ wild boar used to fake road crash in Italy

Police in Sardinia are investigating two men who staged a traffic accident by claiming their vehicle had collided with a wild boar - which in fact turned out to be frozen.

'Frozen' wild boar used to fake road crash in Italy
Road accidents involving wild boar are sadly not unusual in Italy. Photo: Gregor Fischer/DPA/AFP

The men had hoped to win compensation from the region for the incident, but investigators became suspicious when they discovered the wild boar that had allegedly caused the crash had a slit throat, local media reported on Thursday.

A vet called to examine the body found the animal's internal organs were frozen, suggesting the beast had been killed and stashed in a freezer before being strategically placed at the “crash site”, the Unione Sarda newspaper reported.

The two men risk a hefty fine and prison term of at least a year over the stunt, it said.

Wild boar (cinghiale) are a common sight on and near roads in rural or forested areas in Italy, and fatal car accdents involving the creatures have prompted calls for a cull in some regions.

In Lombardy alone, there have been around 400 road accidents involving the animals in the last five years, according to agricultural association Coldiretti.

The number of wild boar in Italy has almost doubled in the last ten years, and “the presence of wild boars in population centres and on roads is now a real risk for the safety of citizens,” Coldiretti says.
In recent years, the animals have also been increasingly finding their way into towns and cties – most notably around the outskirts of Rome, where authorities say the animals are attracted by rubbish that has been piling up in the streets.

In a freak accident in 2017, one man was killed after his scooter collided with a wild boar in central Rome.

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Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome’s Trevi Fountain

With the return of tourism and scorching temperatures, Rome’s fountains are once again attracting visitors hoping to cool off with a midnight swim.

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome's Trevi Fountain

In the latest incident, a 26-year-old Spanish man was fined 450 euros after taking a dip in the Trevi Fountain in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Rome’s city police apprehended and fined the man after he was spotted swimming in the 18th-century monument at around 5am, according to local media reports.

READ ALSO: How to keep cool like an Ancient Roman in Italy’s summer heat

Every summer, hapless foreign visitors face fines of hundreds of euros after falling foul of Rome’s strict ban on taking a dip in public fountains – with the city mayor warning tourists that the centuries-old Baroque monuments are “not swimming pools”.

In April, two Dutch tourists also faced fines totalling over €1,000 after their own ill-advised splash in the Trevi Fountain.

The Roman landmark is one of the city’s main magnets for badly-behaved visitors, but tourists have also been fined after cooling off in the Santa Maria fountain in Trastevere, believed to be the city’s oldest. 

Since 2018, anyone caught misbehaving at Rome’s monuments can also face a temporary ‘Daspo’ ban from the area – similar to an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) in the UK – which allows city police to restrict the movement of people they deem a threat to public order.

READ ALSO: From selfie brawls to midnight swims: Tourists behaving badly at the Trevi Fountain

But a plan to erect a one-metre-high glass and steel barrier around the Trevi fountain to protect it from unruly visitors now appears to have been abandoned after arts and heritage experts called the idea “foolish”.

Fines for swimming in the fountains have been in place since 2015, but this hasn’t stopped determined visitors from recreating scenes from La Dolce Vita and even some locals from taking a dip – – with or without their clothes.

Swimming in the wrong place is just one of the offences regularly committed by visitors, with graffiti and vandalism a common problem at many of Italy’s famous monuments.

READ ALSO: 15 strange ways to get into trouble on holiday in Italy

In Rome alone, this year tourists have made headlines for everything from breaking into the Colosseum to enjoy a drink with a view to driving a car down the Spanish Steps.

Other Italian tourism hotspots, including Florence and Venice, also have varying local rules in place aimed at curbing rowdy behaviour.