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When pigs fly! Wild boars work together to free two piglets trapped inside a cage

In the dead of night on January 28, 2020, a group of wild boars carried out a mission to rescue two piglets caught in a cage east of Prague in the Czech Republic – and the daring feat was captured on camera.

A team of scientists from Czech University of Life Sciences released a study this month in Scientific Reports, detailing the first evidence of rescue behavior witnessed among wild boars.

The footage – released as a series of images – documents a female, among a group of eight wild boars, adjusting wooden logs securing the doors of the cage in order to release the pair from the trap.

‘Two boars were entrapped together for 2 h and 35 min,’ Michaela Masilkova, lead author, and colleagues shared in the study.

‘The other boars arrived at the trapping site after 2 h and 6 min of the two being trapped, and the whole apparent rescue event from the first contact of the opening mechanism to the last available photo took 29 min, with the first successful removal of a log after 6 min.’

In the dead of night on January 28, 2020, a group of wild boars carried out a mission to rescue two piglets caught in a cage east of Prague in the Czech Republic – and the daring feat was captured on camera

The trap was setup for experimental purposes inside Voděradské Bučiny National Nature Reserve, allowing researchers to study the movement and possible prevention measurements of African Swine Fever.

African Swine Fever is a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs, but is not a threat to humans nor can it be transmitted to them.

The great escape began at 11:06pm on January 28, when two young wild boars stumbled upon the wooden crate.

Inside was a piece of corn, which one of the boars began to eat and the other followed shortly after.

The great escape began at 11:06pm on January 28, when two young wild boars stumbled upon the wooden crate. Inside was a piece of corn, in which one of the boars began to eat and the other followed shortly after

The great escape began at 11:06pm on January 28, when two young wild boars stumbled upon the wooden crate. Inside was a piece of corn, in which one of the boars began to eat and the other followed shortly after

Approximately 15 minutes later, the door of the cage shut, sealing the two inside

Approximately 15 minutes later, the door of the cage shut, sealing the two inside

Approximately 15 minutes later, the door of the cage shut, sealing the two young swine inside.

At 1:27 am the next day, the group of eight wild boars showed up at the cage and began fiddling with a log that latched the door shut.

‘Subsequently, the group dispersed around the trap, staying a maximum of 2 m away from it,’ reads the study.

‘At 01:31, the FWB [female wild boar] faced the trap with the mane visibly erected, showing clear signs of piloerection.

‘At 01:34, the FWB apparently charged against the front log with her head in a posture with bended back and erected mane.

‘At 01:36, the right end of the front log was released while the left end stayed in its place.’

At 1:27 am the next day, the group of eight wild boars showed up at the cage and began fiddling with a log that latched the door shut

At 1:27 am the next day, the group of eight wild boars showed up at the cage and began fiddling with a log that latched the door shut

'At 01:31, the FWB [fully grown female] faced the trap with the mane visibly erected, showing clear signs of piloerection. 'At 01:34, the FWB apparently charged against the front log with her head in a posture with bended back and erected mane'

‘At 01:31, the FWB [fully grown female] faced the trap with the mane visibly erected, showing clear signs of piloerection. ‘At 01:34, the FWB apparently charged against the front log with her head in a posture with bended back and erected mane’

‘The FWB subsequently moved to the rear log which was securing the rear door and faced the side of the door.’

By 1:40, the female wild boar was able to push the log out of its position, unlocking the door and freeing the piglets inside.

The researchers not that the large female acted independently from the group, leading them into rescuing the two inside the cage, and did so through the motivation of empath.

By 1:40, the female wild boar was able to push the log out of its position, unlocking the door and freeing the piglets inside. The researchers not that the large female acted independently from the group, leading them into rescuing the two inside the cage, and did so through the motivation of empath

By 1:40, the female wild boar was able to push the log out of its position, unlocking the door and freeing the piglets inside. The researchers not that the large female acted independently from the group, leading them into rescuing the two inside the cage, and did so through the motivation of empath

‘The fact that she exhibited signs of piloerection in more than half of the photos in which she was present may imply possible physiological arousal of the female when watching others in distress and potentially even matching emotional state,’ the researchers stated in the study.

‘She also continuously stayed in proximity to the cage and often looked at the victims. Thus, it is possible that the rescuer female either perceived the situation as dangerous or perceived the emotional state of the entrapped boars and acted to alleviate it.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk