Invasive feral hogs aren’t welcomed by most people, but a cow herd in Germany looks to have adopted a wild pig as one of their own.
Dirk Reese, who owns the small cattle herd in Hamburg, told the media that the pig was first seen with his cows more than two months ago. Banana, as Reese nicknamed him, has been in hog heaven with his new family ever since.
“He’s fully integrated into the herd, which is fascinating,” Reese said.
Wild boars are legal to hunt in Germany, but Reese believes Banana is safe, since he stays close to the herd and is known by locals.
“This pig has a special status,” Reese said.
Wildlife experts are baffled as to why Banana was alone and how he came to join the herd, but interspecies adoption isn’t unheard of. Domestic dogs will sometimes raise an orphaned kitten, and predators will sometimes even protect the offspring of animals they’d normally hunt. Pigs, which experts believe are highly intelligent, have formed relationships with cats, dogs, monkeys, and other livestock.
Some speculate the pig may have been attracted to the cow herd as it mirrors some of his own qualities. Like pigs, cows are hooved ungulates and exhibt social behavior. The two species may even benefit each other by providing safety in numbers or cooperating to find food.
Then again, Banana the pig may just simply enjoy the company of his new bovine brothers and sisters.