It may not be the first time a robbery has been reported in a park in Barcelona, the Catalan tourist city with its fair share of pickpockets.
But international superstar Shakira has revealed she was ‘robbed’ by a gang of thieves the likes of which are increasingly terrorising cities around the Mediterranean: wild boars.
The Colombian singer behind the 2009 album She Wolf, said she managed to wrestle her handbag back from the sounder of hogs that attacked her and her family in the city where her partner Gerard Pique plays football.
"They were heading off with my bag with my phone inside. They smashed everything up. In the end they left the bag because I confronted them," She said in a defiant in a post on Instagram
Displaying her muddied handbag in a short video from the safety of her high-end home, she demanded of her eight-year-old son: "Say how your mummy stood up to the wild boar."
The sorry state of Shakira's handbag
The 44-year-old Colombian mum-of-two, who has an unlikely friendship with Gordon Brown, did not detail when the incident took place or which park it occurred in. Neither Shakira, full name Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, or her son appeared to have been injured.
However, the singer is reported to live in a mansion in Esplugues de Llobregat, which borders the Collserola, the mountain range with parkland where wild boar are known to live.
Wild boar increasingly come into towns and cities to forage for food. Rapid urban expansion into often rural mountainous areas have seen rising confrontations between people and boars in cities like Rome and Barcelona.
This summer a family with three young children reported being attacked by a group of boats in the Collserola woodland, not far from the Camp Nou, the Barcelona football stadium where Pique plys his trade. The boars reportedly attacked their bags and chased the family, biting the children’s father on the leg when he tried to defend them.
Barcelona resident Xavier Bosch told last month how he was bitten by a wild boar near the city’s Tibidado Amusement Park, a major tourist attraction also in the north where the coastal city meets the rugged mountains, after going with his family to watch meteor showers and shooting stars.
Shakira, who has a reported IQ of 140 and says she recently completed an Ancient Philosophy course at University of Pennsylvania, moved to Barcelona after meeting Pique in 2011.
Shakira and Gerard Pique in 2011
The pair have been listed by Forbes in their list of World’s Most Powerful Couples. As a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, Shakira, who has a net worth of about $300 million, has bonded with Gordon Brown over their work supporting education projects in the developing world.
The incident in Barcelona follows recent pictures of wild boars emerging from parks in the Italian capital Rome and combing traffic-clogged streets in the city centre in search of food have been going viral over the past few weeks on social media.
The animals have also been spotted several times in the centre of Costa del Sol resorts like Fuengirola.
Adult males can inflict serious injuries with their canines in case of an attack. Due to their solid body build wild boars are considered to be particularly dangerous when involved in car accidents.
As well as being dangerous because of their aggression, they are the carriers of diseases that can be passed on to humans such as tuberculosis, hepatitis E and influenza A.
Boars are increasingly coming into contact with humans in cities like Barcelona
The average weight of male adults is around 180lbs which is just under 13 stone.
Experts say that there is no alternative but culling as there is no easy way to persuade wild boar to keep out of cities.
Once they have got used to human food, wild boar cannot be retrained to return to their natural feeding habits and the only viable solution is to cull them," said Jorge Ramon López Olvera, lecturer in wildlife ecopathology at Barcelona’s Autonomous University.
Barcelona has taken steps to reduce the problems posed by its boar population after 2016 saw a record number of just under 1,200 calls to the police to complain about nuisance caused by the animals.
The city has recruited a team of specially trained vets who operate a targeted culling regime, focusing on female and their young, as well as reporting on problems with waste collection and areas where the vegetation is encouraging boar encroachment.