Friday, February 3, 2017

Texas: Animal Care Services catches elusive pot-bellied pig named Buttercup

TEXAS -- Sweets were Buttercup the Pot-bellied pig’s undoing.

It was a serving of 20 powdered mini-donuts and one marshmallow, to be exact, that resulted in Animal Care Services officers catching the pig that was a mascot of sorts to visitors at Cathedral Rock Park, on the outskirts of Leon Valley.

In the past few months, ACS officers had responded to public safety calls about Buttercup. Each time they were unable to lasso her with ropes that couldn’t loop around her wide, spotted belly that scraped the ground.

After three tries, a team of six ACS officers, two from Leon Valley, and three medical staff finally caught the 3-foot-long pig Tuesday at dawn at a dry creekbed, about a half mile inside the park.

ACS officer Aimee DeContreras heard snoring and followed the noise to the sleeping pig, nestled by two gnawed watermelon rinds and a fleece baby blanket a Good Samaritan had left for her.

ACS spokeswoman Lisa Norwood said after enticing Buttercup with sweets, the team used wood planks to herd the pig toward a large, modified metal pen.

“Not without a disagreement on her part,” Norwood said, “thankfully the donuts sweetened the deal for her.”

In the past few months, Animal Care Services officers had responded to public safety calls about Buttercup, a wandering pot-bellied pig at Cathedral Rock Park, on the outskirts of Leon Valley.

Chief ACS field operations officer Shannon Sims said they had previously also set out traps that weren’t effective. Rather than sedate and carry the 160-pound pig through rocky terrain that vehicles couldn’t traverse, the team came up with another plan.

After Buttercup was focused on eating donuts, an officer slid a rope around her belly, stringing the remaining strand through the pen to hold. The team lifted the metal, floorless cage with poles as sunlight broke through the darkness and they trekked back over the rough landscape with Buttercup trotting along inside the pen.

“We’d walk about 10 feet then she’d stop,” Sims said of the half-hour-long, staggered walk back to the parking lot.

Norwood said the pig, named by online fans, was so docile it had probably been someone’s pet.

“One of the basic tenets of responsible pet ownership is know your local animal laws,” she said. “In the City of San Antonio you can’t have a pig. We believe she was probably dumped in the park by somebody who got her and didn’t realize how very big and how very hungry she would be as she got older.”

That afternoon, Buttercup curled up in a livestock pen on a bed of hay at the ACS campus, whiling away time until arrangements can be made for her to be transported to a rescue organization elsewhere.

(Express News - Feb 2, 2017)

No comments:

Post a Comment