Flying pigs? Maybe not. But they’ll jump through hoops of fire

I thought performing animals were the height of cuteness when I headed to Monkey Island off the coast of Nha Trang in Vietnam. In fact, that’s why I went. But after watching a bear ride a motorcycle in a Tutu and a spiked metal harness that bent his neck to an impossible degree of discomfort and an elephant that got whipped into standing on a foot stool, I kind of changed my tune. While I’m glad the bear wasn’t free to roam and maul us all, it was a pretty heartbreaking. Except for the dogs, every animal that appeared in the show that day was chained and whipped into doing cute but unnatural things. I supposed this has been going on for years, but I guess I didn’t notice until now.

So I’m not sure what I think about this story about performing pigs in Thailand. Apparently, tigers were too dangerous and unpredictable, but while pigs require a very patient trainer, these ones have been put through the rigors and have have stolen the show. The pigs can dance, pick up tennis balls and jump through flaming hoops, among lots of other things. They won’t be stars for long though — once they become full-grown adults, they become too fat to perform, and go to live in the zoo (really!)

Sounds cute — sans metal shackles, of course.