Amazing photos show boar family organizing 2 piglet cage escape, demonstrating high levels of intelligence and empathy
A wild boar can be seen freeing two piglets from a trap in images captured by researchers.
The female boar can be seen strategically targeting wooden logs that were blocking the trap doors.
Scientists say this is the first recorded case of rescue behavior in wild boars.
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A wild boar led a daring mission to free two piglets from a trap, demonstrating high levels of intelligence and empathy, according to a new article published in Scientific Reports.
The incident, which occurred in January 2020, was documented by a team of scientists from the Czech University of Life Sciences in the Voděradské Bučiny National Nature Reserve.
The wild boar trap, which used corn as bait, was set up to help researchers study prevention measures for African swine fever.
A camera captured images of two young boars trapped together for two hours and 30 minutes.
A group of about eight wild boars eventually arrived at the trap site, led by an adult female wild boar.
In an attempt to free the trapped boars, the female boar charged at strategic points where logs blocked the trap doors.
The report says the female boar’s mane was visibly erect, known as piloerection, which scientists say is an indication of distress.
Researchers said it appeared the other boars were trying to help the female during the rescue operation.
Less than six minutes after the start of the rescue attempt, the female boar released the first log blocking the front of the trap.
The entire rescue mission lasted approximately 29 minutes, after which the trap was released and the boars released.
The researchers suggested that judging from the size and sex of the animals, the female boar could have been the mother of the juvenile boars.
Scientists believe this is the first documented case of a wild boar demonstrating rescue behavior, which some consider to be a “complex form of empathy.”
Rescue behavior has only been observed in a small number of animals, including rats and ants, according to the report.
Scientists said documenting the rescue behavior of wild boars was not surprising, due to the animals’ cognitive skills and complex social relationships.
For an act to be considered lifesaving behavior, it must meet four requirements.
The requirements include that the victim be in distress, that the rescuer put himself in danger, that the rescuer’s actions be tailored to the victim’s situation, and that there is no immediate benefit or reward to the rescuer.
In this case, scientists said that the female boar meets all the criteria.
Rescue behavior differs from other forms of aid by its complex organization, the report explains.
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