Thousands have signed a petition calling for the protection of a wild boar and its piglets after authorities in Germany suggested it poses a threat and might have to be “removed”.
The wild boar, nicknamed Elsa, gained national attention after a video of her snatching a nudist’s laptop at Teufelssee lake in west Berlin went viral.
Adele Landauer, an actor and life coach, captured the hilarious scene as the naked man scrambled to recover his computer from the boar, who was running around with two piglets in tow.
Ms Landauer said the man laughed off the chase and all of the bathers who witnessed the chase clapped when he got his laptop bag.
But recent sightings of the wild boar rummaging through holidaymaker’s belongings has prompted Berlin authorities to say the boar and its piglets will have to be “withdrawn as a matter of priority” which suggests the animals will be killed.
Katja Kammer, the head of the forestry office in the district of Grunewald told the broadcaster RBB: “This wild sow and her two young is a frequent visitor at Teufelssee.
“They phlegmatically forage in broad daylight over the grass looking for food wherever there are bathers. They have lost all sense of shyness.”
The news sparked a campaign for the wild boar and her piglets to kept alive.
Protesters from the campaign group Action Fair Play gathered for a demonstration outside the forestry office on Sunday as they said the animals have done no harm.
“A few days ago pictures appeared in the media of a man in the nudist section of Teufelssee chasing a female wild boar which had run off with his laptop in a bag,” said Action Fair Play in a statement.
“These pictures delighted people around the world. Only the forestry office appeared to get no pleasure from them, deciding instead to shoot the sow and her young.”
As of Monday evening more than 7,500 people had signed a petition calling for the protection of the “cheeky but peaceful sow”.
“There has been absolutely no account taken for the fact that this sow has peacefully shared her living space with bathers for years,” said the campaigners in the petition.
“This wild boar has earned the right to live.”
Marc Franusch, a spokesman for Berlin’s forestry commission, told local media it remains uncertain whether the wild boar would be shot.
He said: “It is the wrong time of year. Due to the age of young, it is forbidden to shoot them right now.”