If you spend much time on sanctuary grounds, you likely know that residents have complex and fascinating personalities and quirks. Because many folks have likely never met individuals living out their lives in sanctuary before, we have created a series of resources compiling fun and fascinating facts about residents to share with supporters and the general public. Pigs are amazing beings who deserve to be better known!
10 Fun Facts About Pigs
- Pigs are well-tuned to human behavior and can tell if a human is paying attention to them simply by following their head position and noticing their eye movements! They can also find objects by paying attention to where a human points.
- In fact, pigs are able to use mirrors to find food hidden in a space that is only visible by looking in the mirror, indicating a concept of self recognition and understanding of their environment.
- Play is super important for pigs! When pigs are given opportunities for exploration and an interesting environment, they are more likely to feel optimistic and experience positive feelings.
- Studies have demonstrated that pigs appear to have a concept of the future and the ability to anticipate positive or negative events.
- Pigs are very social and develop bonds with each other! They even have preferences for whom they choose to spend their time with.
- Pigs can comprehend both gestural and verbal symbols that represent both objects and actions. Not only can they tell the difference between different objects (ie. a ball or Frisbee), they also understood the difference between actions (like to sit or jump). They have the capacity and have demonstrated the ability to understand a combination of these symbols- basically sentences such as, “Get the ball!”
- One way pigs navigate their social relationships is through smell. Did you know that piglets can tell the difference between familiar and unfamiliar pigs through the scent of their urine?
- While it may all sound similar to us, pigs can distinguish between auditory cues to recognize the identity of the pig vocalizing! Moms can tell the difference between the sounds of their own piglets and the sounds of others!
- In fact, pigs are so tuned in to each others’ feelings (a basis for empathy) that they experience “emotional contagion”. For example, if they encounter a herd mate who is very stressed, they themselves can become stressed.
- Pigs have excellent spatial memories and can navigate and remember mazes quite well! In fact, pigs are able to prioritize what memories are most important. In regards to food, they use memories of food scents and colors to recall which site had the most and best food and how to find it.
Hopefully this gives you and your visitors a better idea about the complex and fascinating lives of pigs. Did you find any of these fun facts surprising? Or would you like to see a verified fun pig fact added to this list? Let us know!
Infographic: Fun Facts About Pigs
Looking to share this information in an accessible way with other sanctuaries and supporters? Check out and share our infographic below!
Fun Facts About Pigs by Amber D Barnes