Live trap set in attempt to capture fugitive hog

Ham on the lam in Harriston since Aug. 14

HARRISTON – A wily hog  has been on the loose in the west end of town here for a full week. Two pigs escaped while being unloaded by a Durham area farmer at Harriston Packers on Arthur Street on Aug. 14. 

One pig was quickly re-captured, but the other continued to elude pursuers.

The animal has been spotted wandering local backyards and the area along the Maitland River behind the packing plant. A makeshift trap set up by the farmer under an apple tree the reddish-coloured swine was known to frequent failed to corral it.

An escaped pig forages under an apple tree in a Harriston backyard on Aug. 20.

The porcine fugitive was seen wandering Arthur Street, between John St. and Margaret Street, in the early-evening hours of Aug. 19,” local resident Marsha Paley wrote in an email to the Advertiser.

“Police were called to the scene. A skeptical officer became a believer after photos were shown and other witnesses came forward,” wrote Paley.

“To the amusement of some onlookers, a group of brave and valiant neighbours tried to lasso ‘Rusty the Pig’ but it eluded them,” she added.

In an Aug. 21 email to the Advertiser  Minto director of building and planning services Terry Kuipers said the town’s bylaw enforcement officer has been working with both the owner of the pig and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) to recapture it.

“Attempts to catch it at this time have been unsuccessful,” Kuipers stated.

 “Due to concerns about the pig causing a traffic incident and becoming injured, as well as concerns about damage to property and spread of disease, the MNR set a live trap for it early this afternoon,” he explained.

 “As the owner has been cooperative with both bylaw and conservation officers and have been actively attempting to recapture the pig, if caught by MNR’s live trap, it will be returned to the owner’s farm,” Kuipers added.

Kuipers said anyone encountering the pig, is encouraged not to approach it, as to avoid startling it.