FunNature & AnimalA group of wild boars rescues two caged wild...

A group of wild boars rescues two caged wild boars

It happened in January 2020 in the Voděradské Bučiny nature reserve in the Czech Republic. A group of 8 wild boars came to the rescue of two wild boars that had fallen into a trap. Although the rescue was led by a female, it is believed that the mother of the boars, the whole group did their bit to get the little ones out of the cage in which they were trapped.

The trap was set by a team of Czech scientists who, at the time, were investigating different ways to contain African swine fever among wild boars. The cage had a night camera installed, which was the one that captured the rescue in great detail. Corn had been used as bait for the animals.

According to the images recorded by the cameras, shortly after the wild boar entered the cage, an adult female wild boar appeared. The animal was stressed, as the hairs on its back were standing on end. Judging by size and sex, scientists believe that it is the mother of the boars. Behind the female came seven more wild boars, willing to help with the task.

The female studied the trap for a while and then began to ram the logs that kept the cage door closed. After the female, the rest of the group took turns beating the logs until the door was opened and the boars were released. The rescue operation lasted half an hour.

Although it is not the first time that animals have organized to rescue conspecifics in distress (some cases have been documented in rats and ants), the researchers point out that this is the first case that has been documented in wild boars. This behavior is, according to experts, a show of empathy and intelligence . Also an example of the existence of complex social relationships between them.

Biology considers an action to be a rescue if it meets certain conditions. The first and most obvious is that there is a victim who is in distress and shows signs of stress. The second is that there is a rescuer or rescuers who run some kind of risk in the rescue work. Rescuers must take concrete and deliberate actions to rescue the victim, that is, they cannot release the victim by chance. In addition, they cannot get something in return immediately (benefit) for their work. According to the researchers, the female who has rescued the two wild boars meets all the conditions.

The study was recently published in Scientific Reports . Scientists emphasize that the action of rescuing differs from other forms of animal empathy because it requires high coordination between rescuers.

 

Fuente: Masilkova, M., Ježek, M., Silovský, V. et al. Observation of rescue behaviour in wild boar (Sus scrofa). Sci Rep 11, 16217 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-95682-4

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