While many pets made it out of the Fort McMurray firestorm, a beer-swilling pig might have bought the farm during Canada’s Fort McMurray fires last week but was thankfully saved by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Marshall was left behind by his owner Michelle Coutu after, with no advance notice of evacuation, she had to load the back of her truck with her daughter, grandson and three dogs but not Marshall as there was no room for the black, 4½-year-old pig, she told CBC News
So she did the next best thing she could think of as flames approached her home. She released Marshall from his pen, made some food available to him and prayed.
She later posted on a Facebook page that connects pet owners with rescue workers that her pig was on the loose in the hopes that someone would happen upon him:
“I filled out a form & I can’t ask any one to go looking for him but i would just like to ask that people keep their eyes out for Marshall, our pig. We live out on draper and he was free roaming in our yard like usual when we had to vacate. We couldn’t get him in the truck. No idea where he is on draper now because he probably got scared so don’t risk your safety .. But please just keep him in the back of your mind if in the waterways / draper / saline area.”
That message was the catalyst that helped Coutu find Marshall as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Alberta posted a photo on its Twitter page May 9 showing an officer feeding a black pig some watermelon. Facebook users tagged Marshall’s photo to Coutu who was able to identify her beloved pet pig.
“You can always pick out your kids. He has the white tip on his tail. In the picture, you could tell he was a little bit hesitant to get the watermelon … but definitely he’s not going to turn down a treat,” Coutu told CBC News. “I was overwhelmed, just ecstatic, when I seen his picture knowing that he was OK.”
Coutu had no idea where Marshall went after she released him. She thinks he may have wandered over to the neighbor’s garden or went on an expedition for beer (apparently Marshall loves beer even though giving pints to pigs is not the best idea).
“If you open a beer, he loves his beer,” Coutu told CBC News. “You cannot put your beer down because you won’t have a beer afterwards.”
For the meantime, Coutu and her family are staying with family in Newfoundland, and Marshall is being looked after by friends and Canadian authorities. Although she can’t get back to Marshall right now, Coutu said she was so happy that he was found safe and that there might be a celebration in order.
“He’s a tough little pig,” she told CBC News. “I’m so proud of him.”