Pigs Abandoned on an Island Get a Boat Ride to New Lives

Thanks to rescuers, six lucky pigs who were abandoned years ago on an island off the coast of California just took a boat ride to entirely new lives — and now they’ll be getting all the love and care they deserve.

According to Farm Sanctuary, the organization behind the rescue mission, the group of pigs was originally dropped off on a small island in the San Joaquin Delta to control water hyacinth. About four years ago, they were left to fend for themselves. The original pigs have since died, but a few of their offspring, including a mom, dad and four babies, remain. They’ve been trying to survive on their own ever since.

“Tragically, as word of “pig island” has gotten out, people have come to the island to get a glimpse of the animals ― and many visitors had cruel, misguided intentions. Some hunted the pigs for food. Others thought it was hilarious to ride and harass them and even get them to drink beer. There has even been recent talk online about killing the pigs for a pig roast this August,” said Susie Coston, Farm Sanctuary’s national shelter director.

“They are amazing. They’re very frightened right now, but these have been pigs that have just been seen as a commodity and something fun to do. Two days ago people in bikinis were riding these pigs. Today, they’re in a trailer heading home,” Coston added in a video update.

Now, however, the pigs are all safe. Rescuers successfully loaded and transported the pigs off the island by boat, and quickly took the animals to UC Davis for veterinary care.

In an update, Coston said she suspected the pigs were all very unhealthy after initially seeing them. They turned out to be underweight, which could be attributed to poor nutrition, parasites, disease or a combination of those factor. Meanwhile, the mom has since been confirmed to be pregnant.

For the first time, she will be able to give birth and care for her babies in safety, without worrying about how to protect them from bad weather, hunger or people intending to hurt or kill them.

Farm Sanctuary ultimately hopes that the pigs will be adopted by loving homes through its Farm Animal Adoption Network.

Unfortunately, there’s been some backlash following the rescue by several island visitors who fed these pigs. Hopefully they will have a change of heart and will come to support an effort that genuinely puts the best interest of these pigs first.

For more updates and info on how to help, visit Farm Sanctuary.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer H
Jennifer H8 months ago

How could anyone complain about animals being rescued and taken to safety? I hope the pigs can recover and enjoy the rest of their life in safety.

Steven W
Steven W9 months ago

Thank you.

Jess B
Jess B9 months ago


Lisa M
Lisa M9 months ago

I was so relieved when I first heard about this rescue! Farm Sanctuary is one of the most wonderful, top notch animal sanctuaries in the world! Farm animals are friends NOT food! Go vegan!

Carl R
Carl R9 months ago


Deborah W
Deborah W9 months ago

A group of pigs, originally dropped off on a small island in the San Joaquin Delta to control water hyacinth, were, after some 4 years, left without oversight to fend for themselves. Though the original pigs have since died, a few of their offspring (including a mom, dad and four babies) have miraculously survived. As with all things human, once tagged as PIG ISLAND, misguided, those who lust for new forms of "entertainment" no matter the cost, just sick and/or all of the above, began traveling to the island to get a glimpse ... or hunt them ... or ride and harass them ... or get them to drink beer. Now there's even talk ONLINE about killing them for a pig roast in August. Find it hard to understand why the best and brightest tech savy allow this to be transmitted -- or do they just join in on the weekend? As to the backlash following the rescue by several island visitors who fed these pigs, I would ask: why do you think your occasional "visits" are enough to sustain these poor no-voice or choice victims? Well-intentioned as you might be, unless it fits into your daily routine (all species need fresh water and food to exist reasonably) your efforts will die, as will these pigs.


Margie F
Margie FOURIE9 months ago

Thank you to the rescuers

Süheyla C
Süheyla C9 months ago


Mark Donner
Mark Donner9 months ago

The holocaust of farm animals by the human race is an act of planetary savagery that can never be forgiven.