Pigs are smart and are often the subject of movies and books, such as Charlotte’s Web and Babe. As a result, children love pigs and most adults know that pigs are more intelligent than dogs. Less known is the emotional and social lives of these gentle creatures. They love to be with other piglets and show distress when separated from their friends. They have been known to recognize up to 30 other pigs and they greet each other affectionately.
Pigs can be quickly taught simple voice commands and even to fetch objects – and they remember the commands for over three years. Contrary to their reputation, pigs are extremely clean and they like cuddles from people. The rolling in the mud story is to keep their sensitive skin from getting sunburned. Pigs naturally root in the ground and love to explore and play.
It is appalling to see pictures and videos of pigs at factory farms, where they are kept in cages so small that they can not even turn around. Mother pigs are forced to feed their piglets through iron bars. They grow up without stimulation and are then sent to slaughter.
We hope you get to spend some quiet time with our pig and see for yourself how intelligent and social these animals are. You will see that Leo Tolstoy is curious and loves attention.
Leo is a handsome pot bellied pig who was purchased to be a family pet and live in an apartment in Queens. However, he started squealing when his family left him to go to work and the neighbors got angry and insisted Leo move out.
We welcomed him to our sanctuary where he is able to live the life of a pig, rooting in the dirt and grass and getting lots of belly rubs. Leo is lucky to have escaped the short and brutal life as a pig on factory farms and he is teaching us all about how smart and friendly pigs can be. His enthusiasm for life is contagious and we are thrilled to have him join our farm family.
Leo was born January 5, 2015.
Want to learn more about Leo? Bill Crain and Joye Gomez explain his changing life at Safe Haven in a series of post cards. View here.