Pig With Blue Fat Found at California Ranch: Fact Check

Picture of Pig With Blue Fat Found at California Ranch
Pig With Blue Fat Found at California Ranch


Pig with Blue Fat at California Ranch

Other Versions

1. Photo of Bright Blue Pig Shot at California Ranch

2. A mysterious pig with blue fat was found

3. Blue Skinned Pig

4. Bright Blue Fat Found in Wild Pig Killed in Morgan Hill

Fact Check:

Few pictures floating around internet space claim to show a mysterious wild pig with bright blue fat surrounding its meat. It was allegedly discovered after being shot by ranchers in Morgan Hill, California. The pictures sparked plenty of conversation on social media. Viewers questioned their authenticity and the reasons why the pig fat is bright blue in color. As detailed below, the pictures showing the wild pig are real. The possible reason for it is because of consuming food with rodent poison to which blue dye is added.

About the Incident

In September 2015 Reddit user GlendilTEK posted the images on Imgur website imgur.com. They carried a brief explanation that the bizarre discovery happened at their in-laws’ Morgan Hill ranch in California. Notably, the meat and blood of the pig shot dead were of normal color, but the fat is stained bright blue all the way through the pig.

After viewers were sceptic about the pictures, the user added few other pictures showing the wild pig having inner fat stained bright blue. The user suggested such blue pigmentation is often caused from copper poisoning. But he also said the ranch only had some old mercury mine shafts that they have filled in. He said the ranchers were startled at the discovery of such pig for the first time. Others suggested theories like infection, genetic defect, rat poison or a possible contamination from a chemical with blue dye in it. However, the samples of the pig fat were sent to University of California Davis for testing.

Expert Opinion on Pig with Blue Fat

Explaining the story, Business Insider website businessinsider.com reports the opinion of Robert Poppenga, a veterinarian and toxicologist at the Animal Health and Food Safety Lab at UC Davis as told to Tech Insider. The expert said the blue pigment visible in pig fat is almost certainly from a blue dye put into an anticoagulant bait formulation (otherwise known as rat poison). He also said they could not verify it analytically because the lab only received a sample from the animal – not from the likely rodenticide source. He also mentioned that UC Davis has seen a similar case in a feral pig few years ago, when the animal ate Diphacinone (used as a rodenticide) and blue dye from baited grain.

The hypothesis of Robert Poppenga was also backed up by Stella McMillin, a senior environmental scientist from the Wildlife Investigations Laboratory in the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. When animals eat, or are exposed to anticoagulant rodenticide (rat poison), the pigmentation of their fat can change. So possibly the wild pig shot at California Ranch too might have been exposed to such anticoagulant rodenticide and blue dye.

Hoax or Fact:

Fact with some missing information.

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Prashanth Damarla