Russians like to remind foreign visitors that, contrary to legend, bears do not walk the streets of Moscow.
But as several commuters discovered Friday morning, wild boar are a different matter.
Frightened pedestrians heading to work in the western suburb of Krylatskoe reported four of the fearsome pigs on Ulitsa Akademika Pavlova at about 7 a.m. Friday morning, Vesti TV reported.
Alarmed witnesses said the four large black boar ran up and down a row of houses several times before disappearing into a nearby woodland.
Wild boar are not rare in Russia, but this is the first time they have been spotted in the area since large scale construction in preparation for the 1980 Olympics over 30 years ago, Itar-Tass reported.
Environmentalists said the boar probably entered the suburb via a neck of forest between the Moscow Ring Road and Rublyovskoye Shosse, and were likely foraging for acorns amongst the local park's many oak trees.
And representatives of the district's environmental services department said the migration of boars into the city is evidence of extensive damage to the woodlands around Moscow by residential construction, the news agency reported.
The forests along Rublyovskoye Shosse host several exclusive dacha communities, and land in the area is rated some of the most expensive in the country.