Starving Pigs Saved from Small Island in California

Animal-rights organization Farm Sanctuary stepped in to save six starving pigs left to die in California’s Central Valley.

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Last week, a 10-person team from animal-rights organization Farm Sanctuary rescued six pigs stranded on a small island—“Pig Island”—in the Joaquin River Delta in Central Valley, CA. A man dropped off several pigs on the island four years ago under the assumption that they would be able to survive on the native vegetation. Those pigs died due to lack of consumable food, and their offspring—the six rescued individuals—were found by Farm Sanctuary workers in a deplorable state. “This rescue is like nothing I have ever experienced before,” Farm Sanctuary’s National Shelter Director Susie Coston said. “They are way too thin, which could be because of hunger, poor nutrition, parasites, disease, or any combination, and I suspect one might be pregnant. But we will not fail these pigs.” The animals were only fed occasionally by a local resident, visiting boaters, and tourists—who harassed the pigs, hunted them for food, and even poured beer down their throats. “They’re terrified of humans, but willing to set their fears aside for the chance of some food,” Coston said. The rescue team worked with the island’s owner Martin Wong (not the original person who abandoned the animals) to shuttle the pigs to a veterinary hospital at the University of California, Davis, where the pigs are currently being treated.