If I asked you which is the smartest animal, where does your brain go to?

Well, it should immediately go to human beings, because we are the most intelligent animals.  However, if you were thinking more along the lines of pets or wild animals, that's a whole other topic.

Let's look at the six most intelligent animals in New Hampshire and Maine.

I know these animals are a pain for your bird feeders, but believe it or not, squirrels are pretty smart.  Think about it.  They actually pretend to be hiding food by faking a food burial to other squirrels and birds.  It's quite elaborate, says a-z-animals.com.

Are you surprised raccoons are some of the most intelligent animals in the world? They can retain information, like problem-solving for tasks, for up to three years. Although raccoons' hands are small, they are extremely dexterous, and adaptable to various climates.

The American crow is known for its jet black appearance, and is considered quite intelligent due to its ability to figure out how to use tools to get food.  They are "great problem solvers and have incredible memories", according to a-z-animals.com.

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Bees are super organized within their colonies, and very important to the ecosystem, which is why they are considered quite clever. Bees work together, and can remember flowers and find pollen in a vast area.

Of course, you have to include dogs in the intelligent animal category.  Although it does depend on the breed, many have a mental capacity close to that of a two-year-old human. Dogs can learn commands, gestures, show basic emotions, and even smile, says worldatlas.com.  Dogs love being with humans, so that's a smart move to begin with.

Finally, one of the most intelligent animals in New Hampshire and Maine is the pig. Pigs have an incredible memory and communicate with each other through grunts and squeals.  Depending on the breed, they understand commands from humans, and often are thought to be smarter than dogs.  Watch the movie Babe and you will understand this philosophy.

So give these animals the credit they deserve, even if they annoy you at times. They are still special creatures in the big, wide world, and here in the Northeast.

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