Firefighters rescue domesticated pig found in Tunnel Fire area
They called it ‘Operation Pig Rescue’
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – Humans are not the only victims of the Tunnel Fire burning near Flagstaff. Animals are affected, too. Firefighter Erik Jackson and his crew came across one of them – a domesticated female pig -- Thursday. Jackson said they thought the pig was a javelina until they got a closer look at her.
“We used a plastic bowl from breakfast and offered the pig water,” Jackson told Arizona’s Family. “We could tell she was severely dehydrated. She finally came over and drank roughly two bottles of water.”
Jackson said his team got the green light to try to rescue the pig. It took them three tries to catch her. “The last time I was able to grab ahold of her and we used tie straps that we had on our engine,” he explained. He said he, his crew, and his division leader decided the best thing to do was load her into the bed of their pickup truck while he was holding her. He posted a video and photos of them in the truck on Facebook.
“Once we got her into the truck, I was talking to her and petting her, reassuring her that she would be okay,” he told us via Facebook. “She went limp and relaxed; a few times she kissed my face almost like a dog. I believe at that point she knew that we were trying to help her.”
“I want to thank my Timberline Fire crew (Note Louis and Tom Silas) for the assist on this rescue, as well as division Alpha leader Preston Mercer,” Jackson continued.
He said Northern Arizona Animal Search and Rescue tracked down the pig’s owner. And there’s another bit of good news. Jackson said the rescue pig was part of a mated pair. The male was found Friday night, and both animals have been returned to their owner.
A livestock rescue organization told Arizona’s Family reporter Amy Cutler that it is looking after 177 animals, including horses, sheep, chickens, and pigs.
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