In memory of the Weekly World News – the newspaper we all read while waiting in line at the grocery store (and would still be there if any of us had actually bought a copy …
Animals giving birth to strange-looking offspring are dime a dozen, especially in these days of growth hormones, leaking nuclear plants and cloning. The Seinfeld “Pigman” episode aired 25 years ago. If you want to make the weird news these days, you need to be creative. Get ready … we have a winner! A farmer in the Phillipines has (OK, ‘had’ – warning, it’s a sad story) a goat that gave birth to what witnesses described as a half-pig, half-human. That’s right … a goat gave birth to a pigman. Get in this virtual grocery store checkout line and read on.
“(It) looked like a pig, with a mix of human. Nobody knows what it is, but it’s not a goat. It’s scary. We’re all wondering why it happened and if it is bad luck.”
Bad luck? Are you kidding, Josephine Repique? A real pigman could be just the impetus needed for a revival of “Seinfeld” with your story as the first episode and a big check in your pocket. According to GMA News Online, Josephine owns a small farm in Sultan Kudarat, a province in Mindanao or Southern Philippines, the second-largest island in the country. As in humans, there apparently can be complications in the birth of goat kids requiring the help of a cesarean section. However, human delivery rooms don’t often hear screams by anyone but the mother. Nor do they open the door and invite in onlookers.
”We were shocked. We can’t explain how it looks like that. All our neighbors flocked into our house to get a good look.”
What they got a look at was a small pink furless creature that didn’t look anything like the other baby goat delivered deceased in the C-section. It definitely doesn’t look like a goat (pictures and video here) and it doesn’t take much imagination to think it could be a pig-human combination. As is often the case in these occurrences in areas that are advanced enough to have goat C-sections but not much scientific knowledge, the first reaction was “mutant devil” and “bad luck.” (Bad luck to the humans in the village, not just to the goat mother who didn’t survive the C-section either.)
”It is a possible case of genetic mutation. It is also possible that the mother contracted a disease called Rift Valley fever from mosquito bites and this caused the impaired development of the infant.”
It turns out, both Dr. Agapita Salces of the Institute of Animal Science of the University of the Philippines who made that diagnosis and the villagers crying “bad luck” were both right. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rift Valley fever is “an acute, fever-causing viral disease most commonly observed in domesticated animals (such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and camels), with the ability to infect and cause illness in humans.” Named for Kenya’s Rift Valley where it was first identified in the early 1910s, it can spread quickly and cause massive amounts of animal deaths and economic losses (an outbreak in Kenya in 1950-51 killed 100,000 sheep). It is also devastating when it crosses over to humans – an outbreak in Egypt in 1977 resulted in over 600 deaths.
Bad luck indeed.
It’s never a good sign when these types of unusual and sometimes tragic deaths occur. Perhaps Weekly World News was actually trying to do us a service by making us aware of them in its own sensationalistic way.
Then again … how do you explain “Alien Endorses John McCain!”?