Tourists flock to see diving pigs in Hainan

By Joe McGee, May 9, 2014

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Tourists are flocking to a park just outside Wenchang city, Hainan province to witness the improbable spectacle of diving pigs, after a local farmer taught his livestock the discipline. 

Huang Demin says he decided to install the diving board to keep his pigs happy and entertained. But the decision was savvier than initially suggests, as Huang believes the pig's pleasant lifestyle will lead to them being tastier, a claim that he says means he can sell the meat for three times the price of regular bacon and sausages. 

Larger pigs are expected to jump from the dizzying five-metre purpose-built diving board, while piglets and smaller swine are started off on the one and three-metre boards.

Visitors reportedly can't get enough of the daily display, with 38-year-old enthusiast Hua Lin saying the sight is "too funny for words, I never heard of such a thing as pig diving, so we decide we had to come to have a look for ourselves."

According to the pigs' diving trainers, the animals often have difficulty at first and sometimes have to be forced into the water. However, after a few attempts and a surge in confidence, the hogs reportedly can't get enough of the sport. 

It has been long recognised that pigs have greater intelligence than their farmyard friends, with an ability to pick up certain skills at the same rate as chimpanzees. In 2003, Europe introduced a law that told farmers they must provide their pigs with "manipulable material" such as toys to keep them from getting bored.

Farmer Huang also argues that the unusual exercise makes the pigs not only happier but also healthier, claiming disease among his livestock occurs less often.

[Image via Europics/CEN]

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