The pig fit right in on this farm. (Source: KLTV news staff)
WOOD COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -
An East Texas farming family couldn't believe their eyes when they looked out in the their pasture one day, and saw their herd of cows was being followed by a baby feral hog, apparently adopted by the herd.
But now, the hog is gone.
Mary Ellison was checking her cattle on her Wood County farm one day when she saw an unusual sight, something she didn't understand at first.
"We saw a baby hog and it was following the cows. The whole family was shocked and we came out every day to feed it. It's wonderful," Ellison says.
For the last six weeks the piglet has herded with the cattle.
The pairing is accompanied by what looks to be parental guidance by the cows.
"The cows kind of waited on it at times for it to follow them," says Mary.
The family named the hog "Pickles."
"We were trying to get it to come to us; I actually got to touch it one time," she says.
Wildlife biologists we talked to say it’s not unusual for different species to bond together and even show protective behavior.
"When the little pig got nervous, the cows would surround it and protect it. That was the highlight of our day, to get the grandkids and come out here and then feed the cows and the little pig," Ellison says.
But Pickles disappeared, and given the animosity farmers have for feral hogs, Ellison fears the worst.
"There's neighbors around here that don't want them. It disappeared and we've come out every day and it's gone, we're very upset about it," she says.
The Ellisons say they are going to keep an eye out for Pickles and any other animal their cows decide to adopt.