Friday, May 13, 2016

Hawaii's Wild Kingdom

     Hiking in Hawaii and the South Pacific I’ve seen the odd wild pig, but rarely and in small numbers. Recently on Kauai we pulled over to watch no less that one hundred wild pigs milling around in a field. Polynesian wild pigs have a distinct silhouette with a bristly ruff along their spine. The piglets come in a variety of spots, solids and stripes. The herd politely ignored us. Some lay calmly in the grass while mynah birds cleaned their hides. After taking a few pictures the woman who lives in this unique wild kingdom walked to the fence to talk with us. Turns out six pigs showed up initially then over the years increased in numbers. Late afternoon feeding time brought a variety of critters to the table. Doves waited patiently on the lawn in great numbers, horses plodded over, roosters and chickens strutted boldly among the trotting pigs, cats sat on fences and dogs oversaw herding whether or not it was necessary. There was a moment when animals filled more space than the landscape. The estate is a no-kill nature preserve with great care invested in the animal’s well-being. The creatures live side by side with rare squabbles and tourists stop along the road to share a moment of astonished wonder. Harming or teasing the animals is strictly not allowed. The location is a travel challenge.
Hint: Look toward the mountains while driving on Kauai north of Kapaa.