July 25, 2009

Florida wild pig regarded as folk hero

Residents of a Florida town say they regard a 150-pound wild pig that has avoided capture as a kind of hero.

The pig has a Facebook page, in which supporters describe the Panama City, Fla., animal as libertarian hero and an outlaw striking a blow for freedom, The New York Times reported Saturday.

One pig fan, 62-year-old real estate developer Mary Sittman, wrote on the page, Is the pig a symbol of our desire to live free of government controls? She told the Times the outlaw oinker had to be a real survivor which she said appeals to the conservative Panhandle town.

Local animal control officials, however, see it differently. Jim Crosby, division manager for Bay County Animal Control, told the newspaper the pig charged at him and his deputies this week, nearly tearing up their calves, while a woman also claimed the pig rushed her in a park.

It has been fed by people and chased by some teenagers, Crosby said. We are afraid the pig could hurt humans or could run into the road and get hit by a car.