Sunday, July 13, 2008


'Lost' isn't the only TV series that has dealt with wild boar....

Currently, I'm enjoying a detective series from the UK being shown on a local PBS station. It's called 'New Tricks'. Here's how it's described at
Ryan's British TV Show Reviews:

"Amanda Redman (
At Home With The Braithwaites) stars in this light-hearted BBC detective series as an up-and-coming Met officer whose career hits a bump when a kidnapping case goes awry. Her superiors reassign her to form a new unit of former detectives and re-examine open cases. What they really want is for her to whitewash cases so they'll go away. Teaming up with James Bolam they recruit a group of dodgy ex-coppers that, although unorthodox, get the job done, despite the displeasure of the higher-ups at the Metropolitan Police."

It's what I call "Comfy TV"; nothing challenging, just a pleasurable way to pass an hour when I get home from work in the morning.....

In the 'New Tricks' episode shown by Channel 21 this past week (untitled), their case involved an unidentified woman whose dismembered body was found in the woods back in October of 1987. They began looking into the cold case again because the original forensic pathologist was retiring soon and this was his only unsolved mystery.

One of the first clues they uncovered was that the teeth marks on the bones were not caused by foxes but instead by wild boar.
This type of info nugget is why I do the Tiddlywinkydinks; they give me a chance to further explore a particular topic. Even regular TV shows can be a teaching tool, not just the educational stuff for kids on PBS!

By the 13th Century, it was believed that wild boar were extinct in Great Britain. Attempts were made in the 17th Century to re-introduce them to forests of the "Sceptre'd Isle", but that experiment petered out. For the next two centuries, there were only a handful of captive wild boar imported from Europe and kept in zoos on exhibit.

Then in 1980, wild boar farming began in earnest. There were reports of a few of the farm boar escaping into local woods, even some from the 1970s who were kept in zoo enclosures. But it wasn't until October of 1987 when quite a few wild boar escaped to actually breed in the wild and re-introduce the population to the forests of the United Kingdom.
The reason for this is brought up in detail on the show - the Great Storm of 1987. During the devastation caused by the hurricane, two captive populations of boar escaped in Kent. According to a 1998 report, there are now two confirmed populations of wild boar in Britain. The larger one is in Kent and East Sussex, and the other is in Dorset. But there are three other populations on the rise - Herefordshire, Devon, and Gloucestershire in the Forest of Dean. (Some of those have crossed over into Wales.... Maybe they'll be invading 'Torchwood', 'Caerfydd', and 'Gavin & Stacey' plots soon enough!)

In that episode of 'New Tricks', it was mentioned that at least one of the farms breeding wild boar sells its own salami made of the meat. If a resident of Toobworld was interested in getting wild boar salami, perhaps the best bet would be to pick some up in Dorset. it sounds like it would make for a great lunch with some Dorset Blue Vinny!
Toby OB

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