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Tonga's Fishing Pigs Attracting Tourists; 'They Go Out at Low Tide Everyday'

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NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga -- The growing tourism industry in Tonga has led to increased popularity for one of one of the island kingdom's most unique attractions -- fishing pigs.

The razorbacks, descendents of animals brought to the Pacific island by European explorers, have adapted to their home by learning to wade into the low tide for crabs, mussels, seaweed and fish, the Christian Science Monitor reported Monday.

"They go out at low tide every day," tour guide Joe Naeata told the Monitor. "Perhaps one of the braver pigs went into the sea one day and the rest just followed."

The pigs, called "Captain Cookers" after Capt. James Cook, who had pigs with him when he landed in Tonga in the 1770s, have become a favorite attraction of tourists lured to the islands by reduced prices for flights from Australia and New Zealand.

Meat from the animals has become a local delicacy.

"It's saltier than normal," Naeata said. "It's more expensive than normal pork, but people are prepared to pay the extra money."

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