A silver lining: Potbellied pig rescued from Tunnel Fire by Arizona Game and Fish
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — On April 19, winds exceeding 40 miles per hour rushed down the northeast side of the San Francisco Peaks giving life to the Tunnel Fire as it bore down on homes north of Flagstaff.
The wildfire moved at such speed it left residents with just minutes to grab their families and go — forcing them to leave gates open for large pets and livestock to fend for themselves.
In the following days, Kalyn Miller and Tim Holt, wildlife managers with Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) were patrolling the perimeter of the fire when they received reports from fire fighters of a shivering and dehydrated potbellied pig wandering near the burned area.
After coaxing the pig with leftover hash browns, half a waffle and a banana, the pig was convinced to come close enough for Miller and Holt to get a rope and catch pole over her.
Further wrangling, kicking and high-pitched squealing ensued before Miller sacrificed the sleeve of his jacket as it was the perfect fit over the animal’s cone shaped face.
Once subdued with the face mask, the pig took a few more snaps at officers before calming down enough to be transported to Northern Arizona Animal Search and Rescue, who had already located the owners and a happy reunion was made.
“Sadly, this family lost their home to the fire, but we hope the return of their beloved pet brought some joy during this incredibly tough time,” AZGFD stated.
Information provided by AZGFD