Over the weekend, I got my thrill not from a dance I went to or the movie I saw but from a pig. Yep. A pig! A friend proudly showed me Sheba, a grey and light brown pet pig. Sheba is no ordinary pig. She's a huge 500 lbs or 227 kgs -- the biggest pig I've seen so far.
Pigs as pets? Scientists think domesticated pigs are among the smartest animals and even learn tricks faster than monkeys and dogs. Pigs have also been known to save humans from danger.
According to London's The Mirror, a pet piglet called Pru was praised by her owner after the Pru dragged her free from a muddy bog. The owner said: "I was panicking when I was stuck in the bog. I did not know what to do and I think Pru sensed that. I had a roope with me that I use as a dog lead and I put it around her. I was shouting 'go home, go home' and Pru walked forward slowly pulling me out of the mud."
In addition to Pru, there is Priscilla, a pig who saved a young boy from drowning; Spammy, who led firefighters to a burning shed to save her calf friend Spit; and Lulu, who found help for her human companion who had collapsed from a heart attack. A pig named Tunia chased away an intruder and another named Mona held a fleeing suspect's leg until the police arrived (source: peta.org).
Most of us think pigs are dirty. Truth is they're really among the cleanest animals. Pigs have to roll in the mud to stay cool because they don't have sweat glands.
But imagine 500-pound pet Sheba loose in your house or better yet snuggling against you in bed.
For more information about the intelligence of pigs, please click on the links below:
- Ariel Murphy