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We all know that when a couple of males meet up there is likely to be a bit of biffing, with usually the weaker opponent rolling up into a ball and being rolled out of the area. However, if two equal males get together then it looks like things get a bit more serious. First half of this short video shows one encounter, followed by a couple of normal “showing who’s boss” clips.
Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_reAi44c6fA
It’s interesting that the two hogs involved in the fighting were artificially marked hogs. I have seen this ‘terrier with rat’ method before (possibly even more ferocious!), but never until the hogs started being excessively marked. Up until then (for years) there was always an obvious pecking order, to the extent that I knew when a hog arrived whether it would be rolled up by one present or do the rolling up. It’s possible that whatever substance is on the hogs is making it harder for them to recognise each other, by masking their scent, leading to them not rolling up as they might otherwise do.
Hi Nic, its quite possible you are correct. I have only been observing Hedgehogs the last couple of years, but have never seen this biting/shaking movement, its always been more Sumo wrestling style. Unlike most encounters I have seen where the dominant party arrives and immediately starts exerting their authority these two initially looked like they were going to ignore each other, before one of them starts things off. So that could be related to what you say, i.e. unexpected/unrecognised smells.
I still have no idea regarding the markings or what was used. I would say that at least 50% of the hogs I see have some evidence of marking so clearly someone in the vicinity is continuing to do this.
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