Watch out for the squirrel! Wait, that’s not a squirrel…

My husband and I were driving to North Florida to go on a parents’ adventure, while our children had a fun-filled weekend with their grandparents (our parents). We decided to take a hike to break up the drive. North of Ocala and east of Jacksonville, we pulled off of the highway, took the long way around to the trail I chose and started driving down a dirt road toward Big Shoals State Park.

As we were driving in, a car passed us leaving the park on the left and on the right a squirrel was walking on the side of the road. What we thought was a squirrel turned out to be a pig. A tiny pig who we didn’t think could survive on his own.

We stopped the car and followed the feral piglet on foot. The quicker we walked, the quicker he walked. We started jogging and he began to trot. We ran, he ran.

Back into the car hopped my husband and me. We backed up down the road to get in front of the pig. He jumped off the side of the road, scurried through a ditch and into the forests’ bramble.

My husband urged him out, and he plopped into the muddy ditch as he made his way back onto the road. Wearing slip-on backless shoes, I ran after him. Quickly, I let my shoes slide off my feet, and I chased him down the dirt road.

Imagining myself of jumping on the tiny pig, I started cracking up laughing. Although I was within tacking range, I let him get away…

“When my to-be-parents saw me, they back up their car to come get me. I wasn’t about to give up my freedom that quickly, so I made them catch me… I didn’t make it easy! First, I ran down the street, then I scurried across the muddy ditch and into the brush. Next, u came out and ran up the street. Here, you can watch as my mom-to-be runs after me, barefoot and laughing (but you can’t hear her).” – Lucky

At this point, my husband and I switched places. He ran and got piggy while I drove the chase car. My husband quickly caught him and hopped in the car. We went back to pick up my shoes and then continued to the State Park, as we needed to compose ourselves.

Once safe in our laps, away from hungry predators and weather, we began to research his species, possible diseases and how to care for a pig.

We quickly learned a few things about Lucky. He is a feral pig (Sus scrofa), also known as a wild boar, and to some, a public nuisance. Groups of feral hogs can destroy a field of plants within a few days (or nights) by rooting and foraging. Since they’re omnivores, they eat both plants and animals; however Lucky is so young, he’s still drinking milk.

Head on over to the next post for more fun facts and to find out what happened next.