1985 - Volume #9, Issue #2, Page #18[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Pig Saves Drowning BoyPriscilla the pig has become a national hero for saving an 11-year-old boy from drowning. Priscilla's owner, Victoria Herberta, Houston, Tex., explains what happened:
"Every weekend in the summer, I'd take Priscilla to an area lake or river to go swimming with my friends. She loves to swim.
"While swimming, we'd always keep a harness and leash on Priscilla so she'd stay in range. One of my friends was swimming with Priscilla, holding the leash. My friend's 11-year-old, mentally-retarded son was supposed to stay on shore but wandered into the water and stepped into a drop-off which was about 6 ft. deep. He yelled for help, getting his mother's and Priscilla's attention. His mother let go of the leash and Priscilla swam to the boy who grabbed onto her harness.
"Both the boy and Priscilla went under two times, but the second time Priscilla came up she was able to swim to shore with the boy."
For her feat, Priscilla received the Stillman Award from the American Humane Association for heroism ù the first time a pig's received the award since its inception in 1928. Since receiving the award, Priscilla has been on TV shows and in People magazine.
At the time of the near-drowning, Priscilla, a Yorkshire-Duroc-Hampshire cross, was 3 months old and weighed 22 lbs. She now weighs 100 lbs.
Herberta says teaching Priscilla to swim wasn't too difficult. "I took her down to the lake and would hold her on top of the water so she'd pedal her legs. She didn't like the water much at first. The sixth time I took her out I just let go of her and she learned to swim on her own," says Herberta.
Where do you keep a pig in Houston?
Why, in the house of course. Priscilla is house-trained and has her own bed and run of the house.
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