Wild pigs are widespread on the Big Island. I saw this one on a hike up Pu’u Wa’awa’a. I’d been taking photos and when I turned around, the pig was ambling into some tall grass leading to a shallow gulley bordering the trail. It didn’t seem at all bothered by my presence which it must surely have registered.
A few moments later, I saw it still headed in the same direction, still taking its time. I hurried up the trail trying to make as little noise as possible, and keeping an eye out toward the area where I thought the pig must be. I hadn’t gone too far when I reached a place where I could see that the gulley ended and, assuming it hadn’t moved faster than I thought, the pig would have to emerge into view. I hoped then I could get a photo or two.
I saw and heard nothing so I edged around trying to see into the gulley. I caught a glimpse of movement, then nothing. There was no point going into the gulley myself. I’d lose my vantage point and the pig would surely disappear before I saw it. The alternative was, if it was a boar, it might charge me. So I held my ground, looking and waiting.
Nothing in my proximity or activity changed, but at some point the pig panicked. It’s previous sangfroid was temporarily replaced by the high-strung nervousness of a racehorse. It shot out of the grass, racing back the way it came. When it came to the metal gate I’d just passed through, it clanged into it, squeezed between two bars, and carried on as before. When it finally disappeared into some bushes, it was a good 200 yards away, and still traveling as though making the final turn at the Kentucky Derby.