Nobody knew this before this week, but the true definition of chaos is thousands of baby pigs running loose from an overturned trailer truck. On Monday night, a truck carrying 2,200 piglets overturned near Dayton, Ohio, setting many of them free, but also, sadly, killing an estimated 1,100. Authorities spent the next several hours near the crash site trying to herd the remaining 1,100 rogue piglets, which were taken to the nearby Greene County Fairgrounds. Previously, officials estimated that a few hundred had successfully made it to freedom by taking off to the nearby woods, but updated reports claim that all pigs have now been accounted for.
Highway 35 in Xenia County, Ohio, was closed for eight hours on Monday night as rescue workers and volunteers gathered the baby feeder pigs, lifting them by their hind legs, and took them to safety. Local farmers brought livestock trailers to assist with the herding. The semitrailer carrying the piglets, which was traveling from South Carolina, overturned when the driver lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a guardrail. He was not injured, but his fiancée, who was also riding in the truck, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. On Monday night, authorities believed that many of the pigs had run into the woods and would be lost forever.
Fire Chief Dean Fox told the Dayton Daily News:
Probably we’ll never get a hold of them... We’ll try as hard as we can, but we probably won’t retrieve them all. I can’t say what will happen to the pigs. If somebody finds a pig and wants to turn it in, call the local law enforcement and we’ll try to take care of it.
However, the paper published an update at 11:40 a.m. on Tuesday announcing that authorities now believe that half the piglets have died in the crash while the other half have been picked up overnight from the Greene County Fairgrounds and taken to Indiana, their original destination.
If it's difficult to picture 1,000 baby pigs running amok and being lifted and handled by grown men, here are some snaps of the rescue in progress from the Associated Press' video.
The overturned truck:
Rescue crew members lifting the piglets out of the crash site.
Can you imagine the amount of squealing at the scene?
Have these authorities been trained in proper piglet handling?
If there was a manual, I'm sure it would say one piglet per hand, please.
They must have been so scared and confused!
How are they carrying baby pigs in their hands so casually? I would have lost my mind.
Because piglets are adorable.
So please handle with care!
Images: Associated Press/YouTube