(ANIMAL FAMILIES) GERMANY — A French bulldog named Baby has taken six wild baby boar piglets under her care at an animal sanctuary outside of Berlin. Baby has mothered other species before, an example that motherly instincts can transcend all boundaries. Animals adopting out of their species is not as rare as you might think, but so far scientists have no explanation for this heartwarming phenomenon. It certainly proves that animals, in addition to humans, are capable of altruism. Read on to learn about this motherly bull dog. — Global Animal

Baby protectively hovering over her sleeping brood. Photo credit: Michael Sohn/Associated Press

Associated Press via The Washington Post

Forget the three little pigs hiding from the big bad wolf. These six little pigs have found a new friend in a maternal French bulldog named Baby.

The Lehnitz animal sanctuary outside Berlin said Baby took straight to the wild boar piglets when they were brought in Saturday, three days old and shivering from cold. 

Playful piglet munches on Baby’s face. Photo credit: Michael Sohn/AP Photo

French bulldog named Baby, left, attends the feeding of wild boar piglets by employee Norbert Damm at the Lehnitz animal sanctuary outside Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. Six little pigs have found a new friend in a maternal French bulldog named Baby. The Lehnitz animal sanctuary outside Berlin says Baby took straight to the wild boar piglets when they were brought in Saturday, three days old and shivering from cold. Sanctuary worker Norbert Damm said Wednesday as soon as the furry striped piglets were brought in, Baby ran over and started snuggling them and keeping them warm, even though they’re already about her size. He says the piglets’ mother was likely killed by a hunter and the litter was found abandoned in a forest. The piglets are being bottlefed right now and should be released to an animal sanctuary when they can feed themselves in about three months.
Sanctuary worker Norbert Damm said Wednesday that, as soon as the furry striped piglets were brought in, Baby ran over and started snuggling them and keeping them warm, even though they’re almost her size.

The 8-year-old bulldog has stayed right by their side since then, making sure they’re OK, Damm said.

“She thinks they’re her own babies,” Damm said.

Baby and her adoptive family. Photo credit: Michael Sohn/ AP Photo

 

It isn’t the first time Baby’s taken to new guests at the sanctuary — she’s also raised raccoons, cats and many other animals, Damm said.

“She’s an uber-mother,” he said.

The piglets’ own mother was likely killed by a hunter and the litter of three males and three females was found abandoned in a forest.

At the time they were found they weighed in at under a kilogram (two pounds) each but are being bottle-fed at the sanctuary and are growing well, Damm said.

He said they can’t be released into the wild because they have no fear of humans, but it should be possible to set them free in a nature reserve in about three months, once they can feed themselves.

Wild boars are common in Germany, even in big cities, and herds have been growing as expanding commercial crops have provided them with more food.

Recent estimates have put the boar population at more than 10,000 in Berlin alone, where they live in extensive wooded areas and often venture into backyards and sports fields, tearing up turf to look for food.

More Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/bulldog-adopts-6-wild-boar-piglets-in-german-animal-sanctuary/2012/02/15/gIQAL2XiFR_story.html

More: Unusual Animal Families

 

 

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