BOW VALLEY – Who let the pig out?
A mysterious pot-bellied pig on the Trans-Canada Highway between Cochrane and Canmore caught the attention of a local rehabilitation specialist last weekend on June 13, as Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue’s Rory O'Neill spent hours trying to secure the sow.
"We [tried] to get the pot-bellied pig for about three hours, however, the best we could do was get it off the middle divider of the highway," O'Neill explained in an email.
The director of rescue, rehab and adoption for the private rescue said it started when she received numerous calls about the hog in the middle of the highway.
Being a dangerous spot for any animal, O'Neill and another volunteer went out to greet the smiling swine, which had no idea what a predicament it had gotten itself into.
"It let us stay a distance but not close, so we were not able to catch or trap it. We had to be very diligent to be sure it did not cross back into traffic, the cars and trucks were not slowing down," O'Neill wrote in a social media post.
After attempting to bribe the babe in a humane trap with some food, in-between the eastbound and westbound highway lanes, to no avail, the volunteers went to Plan B.
In a social media post, the volunteers said as soon as there was a reprieve in traffic, they were able to direct it back across the highway to safety.
"It wandered to the fence away from the highway and dug another hole next to a water pipe and laid down in the shade ... That was the best we could do to help the pig, [and] keep it from getting ran over," O'Neill wrote.
According to the government Alberta's website, there is information for interactions with bobcats, bats, beavers, cougars, coyotes, crows, foxes, moose, porcupine, rabbits, raccoons, raptors, skunks and snakes – but no policies for hogs on the highway.
While pigs, or wild boars, are not native to Alberta – the animals were brought over as livestock in the 1980s and '90s – over the years some have escaped, establishing several wild boar populations across the province.
It is unknown if the runaway pig was domestic or feral.
"We are hoping the cute pig will meander to a home where someone will take care of it and he/she will stay," O'Neill wrote.