The 500-pound pig escaped from a truck onto I-26 during rush hour traffic.
By Dan Krosse
It was rush hour madness like no one ever imagined. Cars and trucks coming to a screeching halt after a 500-pound pig was seen taking up an entire lane to himself! Somehow Babe the pig had fallen off a truck into the eastbound lanes.
Within minutes of his great escape, Babe the Pig found himself recuperating at Charleston Animal Society, where he then went on to capture the hearts and imagination of the entire city. Especially when word got out that Babe was enjoying meals that included strawberries. As Live 5 News General Manager Dan Cates said in an on-air editorial, “The way I see it, if you fall off a truck on the way to the slaughterhouse, get hit by a car on I-26 and survive, Babe deserves to be spared and live out his life in his favorite mud hole eating as many strawberries as he wants.”
Babe was in guarded condition and was nursed back to health at Charleston Animal Society for more than three weeks. Eyewitnesses say they saw a car hit Babe and it was the car that actually lifted into the air! “It was a touch and go situation in the beginning,” said Charleston Animal Society Director of Veterinary Care Dr. Margie Morris. “We were worried about the extent of his leg injuries, which is serious in an animal this size.” Staff veterinarians, with the assistance of Dr. Russell Bauman with Saddleback Mobile Veterinary Clinic, routinely examined Babe and found he needed anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics and time to heal.
During that entire time, whoever it was that was driving Babe on that truck, never came looking for him.
Finding Babe a New Home
Looking for a new adoptive home for Babe was difficult. At almost the same time as Babe’s accident, one of the largest pig rescues in U.S. history was taking place in Kentucky and many farm sanctuaries were being filled with those animals that needed to be rescued.
That’s when Rachel Goulet came forward and offered her home on Johns Island. “I love pigs,” Goulet said. “I heard about Babe and I already have a pig named Ophelia, so I thought it may be a perfect match.”
When the day came for Babe to see his new home, he was reluctant to come off the Charleston Animal Society rescue truck he was transported in. That’s when Goulet, nicknamed “the pig whisperer” by friends, stepped into the truck, tying a pig leash made of rope around him and slowly coaxed him out. She used a trail of watermelon to lead him to his new pen.
“I was amazed at how much Babe immediately took to Rachel,” said Charleston Animal Society Senior Director of Animal Cruelty & Outreach Aldwin Roman. “The trust between them was immediate and I can’t imagine a happier ending for Babe than finding Rachel and Ophelia.”
As for Babe and Ophelia? They are now sleeping next to each other in their pen during nap times.
Saving Even More Lives
The story of Babe is one of thousands that wouldn’t be possible without the support for Charleston Animal Society from people like Rachel and those that give of their time, homes and donations.
“Charleston Animal Society has treated 75,000 animals, including 52 different species, in the past 5 years — and is only able to treat and save animals like Babe because of our supporters’ generous donations,” said Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore. “We help all creatures to the best of our abilities – and will continue to do so.”