The female boar successfully freed two young wild boars from captivity, demonstrating a high level of intelligence and compassion. Scientists register such an attempt to escape for the first time.
A female wild boar rescued two little boars from a cage
For science, kinsman salvation has four key characteristics (this is how researchers distinguish salvation from other forms of social interaction). A correct rescue attempt requires:
- The victim must be in distress
- Savior puts himself at risk trying to free the victim
- The Savior Takes Various Actions to Be Delivered, Even When They Are Unsuccessful
- There is no immediate benefit to the rescuer if they release the victim (they do this for more than just food or mating)
In an article published in Scientific Reports, the scientists described how this scenario was recreated by a group of wild boars that escaped. Two juveniles were trapped - the cage door closed. They started throwing themselves against the walls and running in circles.
A few hours later, a group of eight wild boars was seen outside the cage, among which was an adult female. The female began to pry on and remove the wooden logs that blocked the trap doors with her muzzle. After removing them, the boars were able to open the door and get out.
According to the report, the female's mane rose at this point in what is known as a piloerection, which scientists say is intense emotional arousal.
“All rescue operations were swift and certain behaviors were complex and well-targeted, indicating deep prosocial tendencies and exceptional problem-solving abilities in wild boars. Rescue behavior could be motivated by empathy because the female rescuer showed piloerection, a sign of distress indicative of a sympathetic emotional state that is appropriate or understanding of the victim,”the researchers write.