Wild & Weird: New Video Shows Javelinas Mourn Their Dead
Javelinas are hoofed New World animals that look a bit like boars and roam the backyards and wildlands of the Americas as far north as the U.S. Southwest. When Dante de Kort, an Arizona fourth-grader, found a dead one in the woods, he set up a trail camera to capture footage of scavengers for a science fair. But he got far more.
In 100 videos Dante recorded never-before-seen behavior: Herd mates of a dead javelina returned for 10 days to nudge, nuzzle, and try to pick up the body with their snouts. They even lay down to sleep beside it, and Dante saw them chase away coyotes.
After biologist Mariana Altrichter saw Dante's footage, the two co-authored a paper on javelina mourning for Ethology.
Dante told us: "Most people think javelinas are stinky animals that nobody needs around, but when you look at them more closely, you notice they actually care for each other and come back for their dead."
Check out his groundbreaking footage on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram.