TALLINN — A webcam set up in an Estonian forest has proven an unexpected hit among Internet surfers who want to catch a glimpse of wild boars feeding and frolicking in the snow, organisers said Wednesday.
"Such massive interest has been a really big surprise for us. It shows that people feel a need to have a connection with nature," said Gennadi Skromnov, the man behind "Metsakaamera", or "Boar TV".
The webcam was set up in December by a hunting association in the heavily-forested Baltic state, which is one of the most Internet-wired countries in the world.
The site (http://www.looduskalender.ee/en/node/2165) is notching up around 75,000 clicks a day, with almost half the visitors based abroad, notably in the Czech Republic, Germany and Nordic nations.
For the boars, the trade-off for appearing on camera is a regular feed of barley, wheat, apples and acorns, served up every evening to attract them, said Mait Siimson of the Tahtvere hunters' association.
"Seventeen wild boars usually gather for dinner around 5:30 to 6:00 pm (1530-1600 GMT), when it's already dark, and stay for around an hour," Siimson told AFP.
"The site is probably so popular because it's much more interesting to follow wild boars than birds or smaller animals," he added.
The webcam boars are also spared the unwelcome attentions of the association, because the feeding site is not in an area where its members hunt.