Pictures of a feral pig in California went viral after people spotted something out of the ordinary. Although it appeared to be an average pig at the time, they were left completely shocked when they went in for a closer look at this beast.
An unnamed man, who we will call Glenn, claimed that his in-laws shot a feral pig on their ranch in Morgan Hill, and he posted photos of the incident on Reddit. They strapped the pig to an ATV and took a short trip back to their house while the blood drained from the animal. When it came time to prepare the meat, the hunters cut into the pig and were met with an unexpected sight.
“They thought it was a normal pig until they cut it open,” Glenn said, indicating that things were about to get interesting. You can probably imagine their surprise to see a fluorescent blue color underneath the feral pig’s hide. In fact, the further they cut, the more they could see the odd color.
All of the feral pig’s fat, or adipose tissue, was this electric blue color, creating an understandable amount of concern. It was all over the pig, no matter the section, but everything else about the pig appeared normal. The only weird part was the blue fat throughout the body.
With many commenters offering up possible causes, Glenn eventually edited his post, saying, “I know blue pigmentation is often caused from copper poisoning, but all that they have are some old mercury mine shafts that they have filled in. They have also shot wild pigs on the ranch before and none of them have been blue.”
A few commenters suggested that the feral pig may have actually eaten squirrel poison, which is dyed blue and does the same to the insides of whatever ingests it. One person even reported witnessing the phenomenon in the same location.
Reddit user sheep_wrangler replied, “Yep! Hunted pigs in Morgan Hill, CA where this was shot. We used to poison the ground squirrels with anticoagulant rodenticide which was dyed blue. I guess they are teaching this in hunters safety according to another CA hunter. ‘If the meat is blue, it is not for you!’ But I’ve shot a few pigs that had that color but not even as close to that vibrant of a blue. But yea it’s because of a poison we used on ground squirrels!”
The aforementioned anticoagulant appears to produce a similar “blue fat” effect in squirrels. Most commenters seemed to agree that the reason for the color is simply because of something the pig ingested. A user who self-identified as an ecologist surmised that the pig consumed something that was fat soluble.
“Considering this pig is in California it’s likely it has been ingesting water from a local food or candy factory making blue dyes for their food,” he said. “Some folks are suggesting the pig drank from a Port a John, but given the side effects, I am not sure it would have really done this … Someone mentioned Anticoagulants put down to kill ground squirrels which are pests in California. I think this is the most likely culprit.”
After they let the carcass sit for about a day, they noticed that no animals seemed to try to touch or eat it, according to Glenn. But, the cause is still a mystery. In addition to saying that they have shot wild pigs before on their property and the carcasses have never been blue, he said they reached out to their neighbors and no one mentioned any dying of food.
The family reportedly sent samples to the University of California Davis (UC Davis) to determine the cause but didn’t provide an update. How do you think you would respond after cutting into a slab of meat and making such a discovery? Would you even think about eating this?