The infamous Allamuchy pigs are finally safe!
Wednesday morning, we were able to safely capture the last remaining pig, affectionally named Wally by the Mayor.
Wally and a female pig, believed to be his mother had escaped an auction house and made their way from Hackettstown to Allamuchy, making the Panther Valley Ecumenical Church their home for several months.
Once the female was caught, Wally began venturing further and further away from the church. He was traveling through The Allamuchy State Forest and visiting farms along the way. Every morning he would visit his mini pony friends Tia and Elvy and their two livestock guardian dogs, Olaf and Savvy. We set up cameras, hay with the females scent and were working to get him to enter into the paddocks at the farm.
Timing was not on our side as the bear hunt was reinstated which may have contributed to pushing him further out of the area. Tuesday afternoon we received sightings of Wally trotting past the guard gate and making his way into Panther Valley.
That night while I was on the phone with the Mayor, her dogs began to bark and we joked that maybe they were barking at Wally….well wouldn’t you know it…. it was in fact Wally at the Mayors house as confirmed by one of her neighbors.
The next morning, just as we were arriving at one of the farms, the Mayor received a call that Wally was now over four miles away on another farm off Shades of Death Road. The Mayor and I immediately headed over and met with the grounds crew. We followed Wally all over the massive property and had to keep pushing him from entering back into the woods. Envision a cattle drive but with only one obstinate pig!!
We continued to push him down a path and right into an area that had an open gate with fenced in apple trees. He turned and walked right in not even realizing what he had walked into and we were able to quickly close the gate behind him.
Now that Wally was finally contained, we made the call to Robbie the animal control officer and Ian, the pig farmer. For almost an hour we had to keep blocking Wally to make sure he didn’t get out through any weak points in the fencing until Robbie and Ian arrived. Once they were onsite, phase two of the capture began. The fenced in area was large and we had to keep running towards Wally and push him out from under the apple trees and into open space so that Robbie could either try to lasso him or we could push him into our netting. Finally after quite a battle, we were able to push him into the netting, tangling him up enough to be able to tackle him and get him into the crate.
Wally is now reunited with his mother who may or may not be pregnant, we are still waiting for confirmation from the vet. We are happy to say that they will live out the rest of their lives together as companion pigs on a family farm.
Thank you to the amazing Mayor of Allamuchy, Rosemary Tuohy who worked tirelessly to bring these pigs to safety. The Panther Valley Ecumenical Church, Christine and Leslie from the Deer Park farm, Otis and his crew at Shades of Death, Robbie and Ian and to the entire community and other organizations who worked to bring these wayward pigs to safety.