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How intelligent would an animal(land bound animal) have to be to not fear fire?

It's unable to make it or control it, but when a person is sitting by one, and while other animals act more traditionally keeping away from it, this animal knows that the fire is controlled and so is not to be feared.

This animal would be capable of learning by example from other species and even go against basic instincts.

Would it be able of further reasoning? I mean, as it recognises that that fire can't hurt it, how much smarter than the regular beasts would it be?

Its a wild animal, averse to humans. Although it would gladly eat one or two small ones if it could.

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    $\begingroup$ Cats and dogs pretty much do it already in homes that have fireplaces. Sure, ours had to get used to it first, but once they learned that the "fireplace fire is safe" they pretty much stay nearby it just for the warm. $\endgroup$ – T. Sar Oct 5 '17 at 12:21
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    $\begingroup$ Horses, naturally an animal that wants to run away from anything and everything, can be trained not to fear controlled fires. This training is done for example for police horses. $\endgroup$ – DannyBoy Oct 5 '17 at 12:25
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    $\begingroup$ How do you measure intelligence here? And some animals do not even have a concept of fire, let alone an instinct to flee it... like for instance all oceanic animals; a jelly-fish do not even have an instinctive response to flee fire because nothing in its evolution has left such a trait. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Oct 5 '17 at 12:35
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    $\begingroup$ I think you're asking the wrong question, the instinctive fear of fire is about environment not intelligence. $\endgroup$ – Ash Oct 5 '17 at 12:59
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    $\begingroup$ @shieldedtulip Animals in areas prone to forest fires learn to run as an evolutionary result of the fact that those who run live to bred and those who don't get cooked instead. Animals that get burned and survive fear fire ever after regardless of intelligence, same as a cat that gets kicked badly tends to stay away from people wearing shoes thereafter. $\endgroup$ – Ash Oct 5 '17 at 13:15
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There are two aspects to the questions:

On the one hand, there are more than enough humans fearing fire and any intelligent creature in the wild is likely to be wary around fire because of its destructive capability. Any wild animal in regions where fire can occur naturally as bush fires etc. would be extremely unintelligent not to fear it. On the other hand, pets like cats, dogs, horses or live stock animals can be trained to be around fire without showing any signs of fear. Because they are socialised to not fear fire, they do not fear it. In the same way, wild animals which are domesticated, like wild sheep, goats or mustang horses etc. have been trained to 'live with human fire'.

Examples where wild animals have learned to not fear fire are grizzly bears who learned that humans provide a vast source of food. The ones which realised that the fires around human campers are typically well-controlled, stopped fearing them. Therefore, it is a matter of learning the 'gains' of fire which out of human control is typically extremely dangerous to wild animals as it may destroy their whole living environment.

The aspect of not fearing fire, because you can reason its origin or create it on your own, requires an extremely high level of awareness and intelligence. You can read up that chimpanzees are capable of the first steps in this direction.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I meant wild animal. Could you edit your answer to fit? $\endgroup$ – shieldedtulip Oct 5 '17 at 12:32
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Nothing inherently fears Fire

Only when you are burned (or feel the excessive heat) do you become conditioned to avoid it.

Because we humans (tool makers) have figured that we can use fire to achieve a goal, we embrace it.

Another psychological aspect most fauna employ, is not a fear but an aversion to an unknown element. Treating the unknown with caution is a natural survival mechanic.

So in the movies when you see arctic wolves attacking survivors. They are hesitating because they've never seen fire before and don't know what it can do. And/Or, they got whacked in the face with a torch or hot branch and already learned that that sucks.

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    $\begingroup$ If you ever watched a small child observe fire for the first time, the reaction is usually "Oh, pretty...." $\endgroup$ – anon Oct 5 '17 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ Yes... but kids are supposed to be more intelligent than the average chicken... right? $\endgroup$ – shieldedtulip Oct 5 '17 at 13:02
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    $\begingroup$ As im sure you know, there are 2 aspects to our intelligence, nurture and nature. If you really monkey wrench that nurture, their observed intelligence can be comparable to chickens. $\endgroup$ – anon Oct 5 '17 at 13:06
  • $\begingroup$ Good point, but chickens wouldn't approach fire just because it's pretty. $\endgroup$ – shieldedtulip Oct 5 '17 at 13:14
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    $\begingroup$ True that's mostly due to our semi unique trait, human curiosity. That's why I kept that scenario in comments $\endgroup$ – anon Oct 5 '17 at 13:16
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Self preservation comes way before intelligence.

In the wild a fire is always dangerous. A wild animal not afraid of a fire would quickly become a dead animal, with no chances of transmitting its genes along the generations.

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In terms of intelligence, the animal in question has to be intelligent enough to be socially conditionable. What this means that it has to be intelligent enough to be taught things.

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