Can Wild Boars Be White? All About the Rare but Real White Boar

One day, a rare sight caught my eye: a magnificent white wild boar, its coat shimmering in the sunlight. This majestic creature seemed out of place in my familiar surroundings, yet it moved with the same grace and power as its darker counterparts.

The encounter with the white wild boar left me in awe, its image etched in my mind long after it had vanished from sight. I shared stories of the mysterious creature with my friends and family, each retelling adding a touch of magic to the memory. From that day on, I found myself venturing into the woods with a renewed sense of wonder, hoping to catch another glimpse of the rare and enchanting animal that had briefly graced my life. Sadly, I never encountered the white boar again.

Over the next few days, two questions frequently crossed my mind.

Who exactly are white boars? And how did they acquire their white fur?

Can Wild Boars Be White? The Rare but Real White Boar
Wild boar piglets have light-colored stripes on their darker fur

White Boars: A Rare Gem

Coming across a white boar in the wilderness is like discovering a treasure and is as probable as accurately predicting a random string of numbers. These majestic creatures are a rare sight, their pure white fur standing out against the green backdrop of the forest. 

Their elusive nature only adds to their mystique, as they are known to be incredibly skittish and quick to disappear back into the shadows. Many believe that encountering one brings good luck and protection, a belief that has been passed down through generations of folklore. Despite the difficulty in spotting them, the allure of the white boar continues to capture the imagination of those who venture into the depths of the forest.

White Wild Boars: Rare but Real Phenomena in Nature
The scarcity of white boars is similar to that of white deer, suggesting that they are both very rare

A Rainbow of Pigs: Exploring the Diverse Colors of Swine

Animals in the Sus genus exhibit a range of different colors. The colors of each type, such as the deep browns of wild boars or the sandy shades of certain domestic pigs, play a specific role in their own environments. These colors help them blend into their surroundings. The ability to blend in is crucial for survival in the wild, where wild boars must constantly navigate their environment to find food and avoid danger. 

In contrast, domestic pigs may have specific colors selected by breeders for various reasons, like enhancing their visibility in agricultural fairs or for aesthetic reasons, without worrying about predators.

Many disadvantages of White Color in Nature

White boars may look appealing, but they have clear disadvantages when it comes to surviving in the wild. Their noticeable coloration puts them at a higher risk of being hunted, as they find it difficult to camouflage themselves effectively. Beside humans, their lack of camouflage, makes them more vulnerable to predators like wolves, bears, and big cats.

Can Wild Boars Be White? All About the Rare but Real White Boar
Wild boar fur colors help them hide in their surroundings, making it harder for predators or hunters to spot them

Animals with lighter skin tones also have a higher risk of sunburn and skin issues. The sensitivity of white boars to sunlight can lead to discomfort and affect their health and well-being, especially in areas with strong sunlight.

How is possible that wild boars have white fur?

Normally, white-colored animals are less common in nature compared to animals with regular pigmentation. This happens because the genetic mutation that causes white coloration is rare and needs to be inherited from both parents for their children to have it. Furthermore, white-coated animals encounter increased difficulties in the forest in terms of survival.

Even though animals typically lean towards darker colors, they might display white coloring in certain situations, one of which is albinism. Albinism is a genetic condition characterized by the lack of melanin pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes, resulting in a white or extremely pale appearance. Although they are uncommon, albino boars with entirely white fur have been recorded in the wild, such as the one seen in Romania's forests a few years back.

The Author of the video, Wild Caras-Severin, wrote alongside the footage: “Dear friends, as we told you on other occasions, in nature surprises do not take long to appear. The other day we caught a white (albino) wild boar on video. It seems that it is a rather rare phenomenon in our country, it is the second case that we have ever encountered here,” Wild Caras-Severin said.

If a white boar possesses white hair without albinism, it might be a result of a condition known as leucism. Leucism is a genetic disorder that leads to a partial decrease in pigmentation in an animal's skin, hair, feathers, or scales, leading to white or pale coloring in certain areas of the body. 

Leucism is different from albinism because animals with leucism may have pigmented eyes and some patches of normal coloring, as opposed to a total lack of melanin in albinism.

When it comes to white boars, whether they are albino or just mostly white in color, spotting these animals is seen as a sign of good luck.

White Boar in Legendary Tales

The wild boar, known as "inoshishi," is a popular motif in Japanese mythology. In certain myths, the wild boar is linked to mountain deities or kami and is seen as a protector of the woodlands. Additionally, the boar is commonly viewed as a messenger of the fire god Kagu-tsuchi" (火産霊, 軻遇突智)

Inari, a deity associated with rice, fertility, agriculture, and prosperity, is connected with the white boar. It is thought that seeing the white boar brings good luck to observers.

The Mystery of White Wild Boars: Fact or Fiction in Japanese Culture and Forests?
In Japanese beliefs, the rare white boar is a messenger of gods

In Hindu religion, the boar symbolizes Varaha, the third incarnation of Vishnu in mythology. Varaha is shown as a boar saving the earth goddess, Bhudevi, from the depths of the cosmic ocean by carrying her on his tusks.

The wild boar is frequently shown as a formidable enemy in Celtic tales. In Irish folklore, the boar appears in stories like the "Hunt of Sídhe Dá Chích Anann," in which the protagonist Fionn mac Cumhaill fights against a giant boar.

In Europe, especially in England, the white boar is most famously linked to the myths and stories of King Richard III of England. 
During the Wars of the Roses, Richard III and his soldiers proudly displayed the white boar emblem, which he chose as his personal symbol. Following his demise at the Battle of Bosworth Field, soldiers discovered the white boar insignias on the deceased king's followers and on the king's own chest.

White Wild Boars: Exploring Rare Genetic Variations
Wild boar fur is rough to shield them from things like thorns, branches, and bad weather in their environment

Richard may have been inspired by Geoffrey of Monmouth's Histories of the Kings of Britain, where a white boar symbol was used to represent a powerful British boar prophesied by Merlin to battle against the Gauls (French).

There is limited information available on the prevalence of white wild boars due to their infrequent sightings and inadequate documentation. If you happen to come across one, consider yourself lucky, as you've had an invaluable experience that cannot be purchased with money.


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