Wild mother pig tucks in her newborn piglets for the night
This wild pig in Tonga is a devoted and protective mother who is getting ready to settle down for the night. She has just given birth two days ago to a littler of the most adorable piglets imaginable. Now that evening is upon them, she knows they are vulnerable to all sorts of danger. She carefully herded them into this thicket and had them gather between some small trees. It is here that she will lie down and get some well-deserved rest while being able to protect them from anything that could harm them.
Pigs roam freely on the island of Vava'u, in Tonga. The farm pigs are free range and they don't worry much about property lines. They have interbred with the wild pigs and it is very common to see pigs and their offspring wandering in the brush, over front lawns of houses, and crossing roads everywhere. This small village relies on livestock for survival, including pigs like these.
These squirming little pigs are full of energy and they are incredibly cute. But they also seem to understand already that they need to stay close to one another and to mom. It could be that they are huddling together as much for warmth as they are for protection, but they will not venture far from their mother for several months as they nurse and grow bigger. They need to put on weight rapidly to build their strength. It is a tough world for a creature so small and weak and they will need to be able to outrun predators right away.
This mother pig looks peaceful and relaxed, but she can be ferocious, if needed. Weighing almost 200 pounds (90kg), she has powerful jaws and large teeth that she will not hesitate to use if she needs to defend her babies. Pigs are highly intelligent animals and also highly social. Intelligence tests place them at the same level or slightly above the smartest dogs. Many people keep pigs as pets since they are easily trained and easily socialized.
Amazingly, pigs are also very similar to humans biologically, which has been the reason for their extensive use in medical research. Pig organs have even been used successfully in tissue transplants to humans.