April 14, 2014
Wild Boars and Animal Rescue
Any of you who have been following my blog for a while are familiar with Dennis. Today’s blog is dedicated to him because…today is Dennis’ birthday—kind of. It’s the day we celebrate because we rescued him on April 14th, 2010. We estimated him to be about 2-3 weeks old at the time.
Below and to the left is a picture of Dennis a few minutes after I saved him from the dogs. And to the right of that is a pic of him when Mikki was bathing him at the vet. (Yes, the vet allows her in the back room.)
Despite the fact that he appears healthy, his future didn’t look so bright that day. The vet told us he’d never make it. He was bleeding internally. He had broken ribs. And other complications. We decided he would make it, so we took him back to the sanctuary.
Mikki nursed him for weeks, and then he came down with a terrible fever. We remained optimistic and hand-fed him for days, ensuring he had plenty of liquids. When the fever rose to 107° we started to worry. After another week, he showed signs of improving, and within two weeks he seemed to be in full swing.
It wasn’t long after we got Dennis that Mikki required surgery on her hand. That left the chore of feeding and tending to the animals to me, which meant I fed Dennis every day and I was the one taking care of him. The result was he ended up bonding with me.
When I go to feed him, he gets excited and runs in circles. And he loves going on walks with me, as this video shows.
But it is more than just a bonding. He has come to be a companion and, dare I say it, a friend. He has a personality that is—like all people or animals—all his own. He runs with me. Goes on walks. And even plays “hide-and-seek,” when he’s in a particularly playful mood.
Wild Boar Facts
Dennis is not a feral pig; he’s a true wild boar. You can tell by the snout, the teeth, the bristles of his hair, the coloring, length of legs, and many other features. Wild boars are often misunderstood, so for the record, here are a few facts.
• Wild boars are very fast! You can’t outrun them.
• Wild boar tusks are razor sharp and can cause extreme damage, even death to the largest predators. One swipe from a wild boar can slice your femoral artery wide open.
• Wild boars’ skin is unbelievably thick. (Think football) And the males grow an extra layer of padding on their shoulders as they mature. (Think of a tank)
Whenever you see things on the Internet about wild boars, it is usually someone hunting them, or complaining about how they destroy crops and tear up the ground, or how they do any number of horrible and atrocious acts. What you don’t see, however, are stories about how clever they are, or how playful, or how loving. Or how loyal.
You might think I say “loyal” with no degree of forethought, but that’s not so. If I’m in Dennis’ area he will not let anyone else come in. He protects me from anything. And he shares. Yes, you read that right. He even shares his food with me. I can reach into his mouth and take food from him with no fear. I dare you to try that with any other pig.
I hope you’ve gotten to know Dennis a little better. He’s a real character, and a good friend. And now that he’s been with us for four years, I can’t tell you how happy we are that we saved him.
For his birthday I wrote this Haiku.
Dangerous wild boar
Remembers being rescued
Now his bite tickles
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