British Columbia

'He has just been trucking': Pig on the loose near Fort St. John for 6 days and counting

A pig on the loose in the Fort St. John area has managed to evade capture since Wednesday, and is 'not something to be messed with,' says a local trying to catch him.

'He’s not something to be messed with. He's got pretty good tusks on him,' says local

The 430 pound boar wandered for eight days before returning to his owner's property. (Submitted by Stanley Troyer)

A pig on the loose in the Fort St. John area has managed to evade capture since last Wednesday.

The large, black uncut boar went hog wild and escaped from a farm near Two Rivers in northern B.C. and has since been been spotted by locals in the community of Baldonnel, south east of Fort St. John.

Stanley Troyer, who knows the owner of the pig, has been trying to help him track down the pig since he saw him on his own farm in Baldonnel last week. The owner had to go away for work, so Troyer has taken on the task of finding him. 

"Over the course of an hour he had travelled about [four kilometres], and then over the course of the next two days he travelled about 12 to 13 kilometres, crossed the Alaska Highway in behind the Alcan trailer park," said Troyer, owner of Stan's Custom Meat Cutting.

On Friday night, the pig, which is being raised for meat, went onto some private land and Troyer wasn't able to contact the property owner, so they lost track of him. 

Troyer then began reaching out to people in the area to get permission to go onto their land to search for the pig, which he estimates is about 400 pounds.

After getting permission, Troyer spent all of Sunday afternoon searching for the pig.

"We tracked him around a whole section basically where he was following the edge of the brushline on the field and then toward the evening ... just before dark ... the wind picked up [and] started drifting in the tracks so we couldn't follow it anymore," he told Daybreak North's Andrew Kurjata.

"So at this point I'm not sure where it is."

Not to be messed with

Even though it is just one pig, Troyer is concerned about some of the damage he can cause.

"The concern with pigs getting out and getting away, obviously they can be quite destructive depending on what the circumstances are," he said.

Last spring, the University of Saskatchewan published a study that found wild pigs are quickly spreading across Canada and causing lots of trouble with crops and disease transmission.

Researchers also found that the pigs are able to survive in the winter by burrowing in the snow and making 'pigloos' to nestle up in.

"They're definitely a tough animal and quite hardy," said Troyer.

"He's not something to be messed with. He's got pretty good tusks on him and from talking to the land owner, he was starting to get a little bit aggressive with his dogs when he tried to move him."

Fast travelling fella

What's surprised Troyer the most, who has experience with animals from his own farm, is how fast the pig has been travelling.

"He has just been trucking. So he's covering a lot of country and doesn't seem to be tiring out like I had expected him to," he said.

Troyer is still holding out hope that the pig will be found near a food source, but up until now he seems to be ignoring hay bales on farmers' properties.

With nearly a foot of snow on the ground, it's easy to identify the pig's tracks since he is a short animal and his tracks tend to drag, said Troyer.

"He'd duck under a short log and there's no way that a moose or an elk would fit underneath it."

If someone in town sees the pig, Troyer asks that they contact him.

"Don't try and catch the thing," he said. "We'd rather not somebody get hurt trying to move him around."

With files from Andrew Kurjata and Daybreak North

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