The animal revolution: 5 islands dominated by animals

Written and published during World War II, the animal revolution (1945) is one of George Orwell’s most impressive works. In it, a group of animals rebels against the owners of a farm, taking power.

It looks like a work of literature, but it’s not: there are places in the world where hordes of animals have taken over, taking control of geographic spaces completely. Discover some of these islands and their curious inhabitants!

1. Lambay, Ireland

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Lambay Island is a small piece of land in Ireland, off the coast of Dublin. Its main inhabitants are the red-necked kangaroos, a species of marsupial very similar to Australian kangaroos. Arrived on the island in the 1950s, they were brought by locals from a wealthy family who wanted to develop the breeding of exotic animals.

Time passed and the population, which never exceeded the mark of 89 people, according to official censuses, was decreasing. The latest data point to 8 humans living in Lambay, a number much smaller than the more than 100 red-necked kangaroos.

2. Runde, Norway

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Puffins are the ‘owners of the piece’ on the Norwegian island of Runde. The island is a very famous tourist spot among bird lovers, as there are numerous and different species. However, puffins dominate the area in much greater numbers than the approximately 100 human beings that inhabit it: there are approximately 100,000 birds of the type living in Runde.

Visitation is allowed, with the recommendation to avoid the period between February and August, when migratory birds pass through the island making everything more troubled.

3. Aoshima, Japan

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Aoshima is a small Japanese island, belonging to the city of Ehime. It is popularly known as the “Island of Cats”, its presence being really worthy of mention. Although they are not exclusive residents of the islet, the proportion is much higher than that of human beings. The latest figures indicate that the ratio has already surpassed 6:1.

That’s right, for every 6 felines, a human being. In the past, it was a fishing region whose human population was systematically decreasing, unlike cats. The Ehime government has been developing a project since 2018 to neuter and sterilize animals with the aim of containing their progress.

4. Okunoshima, Japan

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Japan really is the land of animal islands. Another curious case takes place on the island of Okunoshima, close to Hiroshima. The islet was used by the government for chemical weapons testing during World War II, but is now the land of lively, bouncing rabbits.

There are no residents and the humans that pass by are tourists visiting the rabbits. It is important to note that, despite having been used in chemical weapons tests, the rabbits residing on the island today are not related to the ancient guinea pigs.

5. Big Major Cay, Bahamas

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Also known as “Island of Pigs”, Big Major Cay is an islet belonging to the group of paradisiacal islands of the Bahamas. However, it is inhabited only by pigs. The number is imprecise, but estimates indicate that between 20 and 40 wild boar (cross between the domestic species and wild boar) occupy the area of ​​the island.

The contrast is quite funny and the story behind the phenomenon is unknown. One theory claims that sailors would have left the animals there to grow, being a future meal. Another suggests that hotel staff in the area moved pigs to the island with the aim of making it a tourist attraction. If so, it worked.