A family of wild boars organized a cage breakout of two piglets, demonstrating a high level of intelligence and empathy.


A wild boar stands in a zoo enclosure in Brandenburg, Cottbus.

A wild boar stands in a zoo enclosure in Brandenburg, Cottbus. Soeren Stache / Getty Images

  • In the images taken by the researchers, you can see the boar releasing two piglets from the trap.

  • Female wild boars can be seen strategically targeting wooden logs that block the trap door.

  • Scientists say it is the first recorded example of wild boar rescue behavior.

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The boar performed a bold mission to release the two piglets from the trap, demonstrating a high level of intelligence and empathy. Science report show.

The incident, which occurred in January 2020, was recorded by a team of scientists from the Voděradské Bučiny National Nature Reserve at the Czech University of Life Sciences.

A corn-fed wild boar trap was set up to help researchers study preventative measures for African swine fever.

The camera captured an image of two young boars trapped together for 2 hours and 30 minutes.

A group of about eight wild boars finally arrived at the trap, led by a fully grown female wild boar.

In an attempt to release the trapped boar, the female boar rushed into a strategic location where a wooden log was blocking the trap door.

According to the report, the mane of a female wild boar is visibly upright and is known as nap. This is a sign of distress, scientists say.

Researchers said other wild boars seemed to be trying to help women in rescue operations.

Within six minutes of initiating the rescue attempt, the female boar released the first log blocking the front of the trap.

The entire rescue mission lasted about 29 minutes, after which the trap was released and the boar was released.

Researchers suggested that the female wild boar may have been the mother of a young wild boar, judging by the size and sex of the animal.

Scientists believe this is the first documented case of a wild boar demonstrating rescue behavior, and some consider it a “complex form of empathy.”

Rescue behavior has only been observed in a small number of animals, including rats and ants, the report said.

Scientists have stated that recording wild boar rescue behavior is not surprising due to the complex cognitive abilities and social relationships of animals.

Four requirements must be met for an action to be considered a rescue action.

Requirements include that the victim is suffering, that the rescuer is endangering himself, that the rescuer’s actions are appropriate for the victim’s situation, and that the rescuer is in immediate benefit. There is no reward.

In this case, scientists said the female boar meets all the criteria.

Rescue actions are different from other forms of support by the complex organization, the report explained.

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