Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The swimming pigs of Fakaofo

"Fakaofo [one of the three principal islands of Tokelau] has so little space that its hundred or so pigs live on a low-lying coral shelf that is mostly underwater at high tide. At those times, lifted by the rising water, the pigs swim, their snouts in the air -- and for this they have a fame that has spread at least as far as a New Zealand school textbook. The pigs also eat seafood. I asked [a teenager named Erik Elika] how these animals caught fish, and he mimed for me the action of a pig first waiting with its mouth open in the water, then snapping it shut, as a fish wiggled into it."
Ian Parker, Letter from Polynesia, The New Yorker, 1 May 2006.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh wow thanks for that. i am doing a report on fakaofo one of the small atolls in tokelau, and one of my questions is what animals can survive there? do you know the answer? if so please post, as i cannot find anything on the subject, i was hoping you could shed some light. thanks,
from billie-jo

11:40 pm  
Blogger Caspar Henderson said...

Hi billie-jo. I don't have more information on this, but I would be surprised if they didn't have chickens too. Mainly, for protein, they would eat fish.

11:05 am  

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