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In my story, a group of people were stranded on an uninhabited 600 km2 sized island. They were forced to glide there due to fuel starvation of the airplane. Its only "domesticated" animal are feral pigs that survived on the island for decades. Without the availability of horses, cattle, llamas, etc, could humans turn the pigs into draft/pack/harness animals? Would it be effective? How would it work?

Btw, the people that first explored the island and let loose the pigs were living in the late 1800s, and the people who recently landed on the island are living in the mid 1900s. These people have "rediscovered" the island, since the first explorers died before giving any public proof that the isle exists.

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Riding or Carrying a Pack - NO

Suitability for this is somewhat a function of the shape of the spine. if you want a saddle or pack to hold on the animal, you want gravity to work for you and hold things in position, and not to cause them to slide off. Consider this crude doodle:

enter image description here

The leftmost outline indicates a basically concave spinal shape. This shape is characteristic of a donkey or horse. This is good for us. The pack or saddle will sit in the depression and remain there securely.

The middle outline is that of a (dromedary) camel. It isn't ideal, but there is a notch just forward of the hump that at least gives us a decent chance.

The rightmost outline is slightly convex, almost flat. Anything you try to put on top of it is going to ultimately slide off. At the least it would be very difficult to keep secure, and this is going to cause discomfort for the animal.

Unfortunately, this convex shape is characteristic of pigs. Thus, I have to conclude this isn't going to work. Your castaways are going to need to think up some other solution.

Pulling a Cart, Wagon, or Implement - SURE

Apparently, it has already been done. Nothing I can say would add to this:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ As long as the harness pulls and isn't a saddle, I don't think your conclusion is correct. See a dog harness; it doesn't depend in the shape of the back and is secure since the dog pulls forward on the resistance, instead of fighting gravity (such as with a saddle). Pigs would be difficult to impossible to ride, but not difficult to harness period. $\endgroup$ – Ranger Sep 7 '16 at 15:40
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    $\begingroup$ @NexTerren- Excellent point. I had only considered this from a single p.o.v. Edit in progress. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – cobaltduck Sep 7 '16 at 15:44

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