Sunday, 19 October 2014

Pigs on a beach - Bornean bearded pigs with a taste for seafood.

Please click here to comment
Just before starting work on 'Wonders of The Monsoon' my wife and I visited Bako National Park in Borneo on our honeymoon. The sun was setting, the tide was out and we were having a BBQ on the beach. Suddenly a group of bearded pigs appeared from the forest heading for our sausages. We had to change our dining plans. However I followed a large male as he headed on to the beach. I was curious as he moved his snout over the sand, like a metal detector. When he reached a large crab burrow he hovered for a while, as if assessing whether or not its resident was home. Sometimes he would pass over the burrow, but often he would dig down with his snout snatching a crab and crunching it before proceeding to the next. Occasionally a terrified crab would leap out of the burrow, just miss the pigs jaws, and run off down the beach... with the pig in pursuit. 

Back in the Monsoon office we decided that pigs on a beach would be an interesting behaviour to film, something which has never been documented before. This reveals how the ingenuity of bearded pigs helps them to seek out a wide variety of food, including sea food, during the dry season, when the fruit supply in the forest is much lower.