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Boar piglet learns to moo with new cow family

The Local · 5 Nov 2010, 10:44

Published: 05 Nov 2010 10:44 GMT+01:00

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Seven weeks ago, the wee hog showed up on a meadow owned by cattle farmer Bodo Bertsch near the village of Waake, he told Die Welt on Thursday.

They were shy at first, but since then his 14 cows and 12 calves have accepted “Freddy” as a member of their herd, Bertsch said.

The boar’s favourite member of the herd is “Rula,” from whom he rarely strays.

A farmhand discovered the boar, now estimated to be about four-months-old, in a meadow among the herd in September, Bertsch said.

“At first we could hardly believe it,” he said.

But in the following days, the piglet could be seen trotting around the field with the cows, and Bertsch, believing it to be a male, dubbed him “Freddy,” though he now believes the animal may actually be female.

Bertsch told Die Welt he has spoken with a number of experts about the unusual occurrence, and none had heard of such a friendship between cows and boars.

Egbert Strauß, deputy leader of the IWFo institute for wild animal research in Hannover, agreed.

“But pigs are clever,” he said. “The animal obviously lost his sounder and searched for a new one.”

Groups of wild boar sows and their young are called sounders.

Freddy seems to feel comfortable in her new home, eating grass like the cows and attempting, albeit with limited success, to imitate their mooing, Bertsch said.

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She has also joined a calf in suckling from one of the cows, and when the cows bed down, she snuggles up next to them, he said.

Just how bovine the porcine pretender has become will be put to the test in mid-November when the herd will be transferred to their winter meadow.

“I’m interested to see whether Freddy marches onto the cattle trailer with the Galloways,” Bertsch said.

The Local/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:06 November 5, 2010 by storymann
South African,,lets have a pig roast and find out.
14:32 November 5, 2010 by Deutschguy
See, this integration thing works!
22:10 November 5, 2010 by Raccoons31
As a small child living in Germany, my father had two wild boar piglets as pets. Very intelligent animals.. and very adorably demanding of attention from their human care givers.

His admiration for them caused him to carve an excellent figure of an adult boar that to this day remains on one of the fire place mantels. We bring so much with us when we leave a country.
22:36 November 5, 2010 by cindinator
Pigs, boars included, are really rather bright and this certainly was a case of survival. It would be worth the follow up to see if the piglet does get on the truck with the cows. That is has decided to moo indicates, without scientific backing, that perhaps cows, as well as pigs, have language. Food for thought on many levels....
10:57 November 8, 2010 by redleg50
WAIT!!! Multiculturalism IS alive and well!!!!! But I thought a group of wild pigs was called a rotta?
08:17 November 9, 2010 by MaKo
There's a metaphor for my German life in here somewhere, I'm sure of it.
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