A family of Wildschweine haunts the gateway to Chek Jawa, emerging from the coastal woods with enough regularity to mollify the disappointment of visitors rendered crestfallen by a wetland of dry boards. Many who leave their bicycles by the path to explore the reprieved coast fail to discard expectations of wildlife reserves that regard the inhabitants of the promontory as objects of mass entertainment and impersonal edification. As they trace a loop or two through the swamp and shore, birds and bigger beasts run rife and in circles around a force field of din and distraction that renders the creatures impermeable to sight and sound.
The hogs forage with discretion, favouring well-trodden trails and swift dashes across footpaths that leave many a walker no wiser to a near-miss of porcine proportions. Former gardens of trees bearing durian, rambutan, coconut and carambola provide the herds with faithful harvests and seasonal bonanzas, while the tide leaves a daily offering of savoury thalli and stranded fins. But a family or two have learned to accept the offerings of villagers who endure the drive to their corner of the island and await the pangs of pigs on the roll. The sow and her seed seem to know when lunch is served and trot out with faint vigilance to sample curried drumsticks and steamed desserts on eternal foam.
Recent arrivals from the peninsula who reclaimed the territories of extirpated kin, the pigs enjoy a reception that swings from a conditional welcome to manufactured paranoia. An unsavoury mean in this spectrum of affections has emerged in the periodic discovery of snares in rural peripheries that make no distinction between boar and man's best friend. Mourned and immortalised on an isle of non-urban renewal, the animals are finding themselves at the mercy of a mainland that has outgrown the age of iron rice bowls but not the entrapment of corrosive appetites.