This BBC news article reports that a farmer was eaten by his pig:

Authorities are investigating how a farmer in the US state of Oregon was devoured by his pigs.

Terry Vance Garner, 69, went to feed his animals last Wednesday on his farm by the coast, but never returned.

His dentures and pieces of his body were found by a family member in the pig enclosure, but the rest of his remains had been consumed.

I do know that hogs are omnivorous animals, but I doubt if there are any such behavioural traits/instincts that would make a pig eat a person. It is unnatural for an animal, which has been domesticated for centuries, to exhibit such behaviour.

Is there any evidence to support or disprove this? For example, any other documented reference of a pig actually eating a person? Also are there any other cases apart from pigs, where unexpected domestic animals have preyed or scavenged on human beings?

  • 2
    Do you doubt that animals kill and eat people?
    – Sklivvz
    Mar 17, 2013 at 18:38
  • 1
    @Sklivvz , No ,I never doubt animals eating people, but farm animals especially pigs , are not so convincing man eaters Mar 17, 2013 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


The interesting thing about pigs is that we greatly overestimate what "tame" or "domesticate" means. It only takes a few generations of breeding to make a domesticated farm pig into a completely feral-looking (and acting) wild animal. Australian Feral Pig FAQ

The natural instinct here is kind of like a goat, that is to say "eat anything that you don't think will immediately kill you". One of their evolutionary strategies is size - they will pretty well get as big as their food sources allow, and the bigger they are the fewer natural predators they have. It's one of the reasons we use them as a food source - they grow FAST!

As to their actually eating people, it isn't common, and they don't exactly hunt humans - but when hungry they may develop somewhat of a feeding frenzy. Every news story paints them as weird, uncommon, but they happen.

Hey, if there are real stories of regular house cats or dogs eating pieces of human corpses, why not 500-1000lb pigs?

Here's another instance, a really weird one: Robert Pickton, The Pig Farmer Killer - who fed his victims to pigs, and then ate the pigs...and fed the pigs to others, too. This was even featured on a Criminal Minds TV episode.

So yeah, never trust anything that is physically capable of eating you to...well, not eat you. that's just not how nature works :)

Edit: Also found this: The Hogs of cold Harbor - the book is claimed to be a fictionalized history based on a real civil war soldiers diary, which is the source of many claims of pigs eating dead soldiers. Take it with a grain of salt, naturally

  • The case of Robert Pickton is interesting as much it is disturbing , its not quite convincing since the case of pigs eating human flesh was just one of the two claims made , but still that is a possibility !! +1 for your answer , thanks Mar 18, 2013 at 5:35

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