Family rescues pig after he falls out of truck on highway

Lucky the pig was rescued by a group driving on a highway in Las Vegas.
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 6:44 PM EDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (KVVU/Gray News) - A pig was rescued by witnesses after they saw him fall out of a moving vehicle onto a busy highway.

Lars Gradel, his work partner Rebecca Zajac and her 7-year-old son Colton were driving west in Interstate 215 in Las Vegas on May 25 when they saw a truck transporting pigs pull in front of them.

They then noticed a pig fall out of the vehicle.

“We saw a pig fly out the side of the truck, and he tumbled about 10, 15 times down the side of the freeway,” Gradel said.

The group stopped their car to try to help the animal.

“I was worried he was really hurt, and then he stood up, and I just yelled, ‘Go grab him before he gets in traffic’,” Zajac said.

The rescuers wrapped the piglet in a towel and put him in the car.

“He was pretty much in shock, pretty scared,” Zajac said.

Despite his fall, the pig did not seem to have any physical injuries.

“We assumed that he would be injured by the amount of tumbles he took on the freeway, and it was going like 60 miles per hour,” Gradel said. “But surprisingly, he was okay.”

When the group took him to a veterinarian, they said they learned he was somewhere in the range of eight to 12 weeks old and recently weaned from his mother.

The rescuers named the pig Lucky, and he lived in the Zajac family’s backyard for the weekend until the All Friends Animal Sanctuary was contacted. The sanctuary, located not too far from the family’s home, took Lucky in.

“We built him a quarantine area that’s coyote-proof because he’s so small, and he is going to be in that quarantine area for probably about five months,” Tara Pike, founder of All Friends Animal Sanctuary, said.

As Lucky continues to grow, he will eventually be moved to a larger pen. Currently, he weighs only 18 pounds, but Pike said he could grow up to 700 or 800 pounds, similar to another resident pig at the sanctuary, named Mister Picklesworth. Lucky may well have escaped a dark future, and now he gets to enjoy his days at the animal sanctuary.

“His fate was to go to a fattening facility where he would be fed a lot, and then in about six to eight months, he would’ve been sent to slaughter,” Pike said. “And now Lucky’s going to be wallowing in mud and rooting around in the ground and digging little holes with his snout and eating watermelon and popsicles in the summer.”

All Friends Animal Sanctuary is a small facility but it cares for many types of rescue animals, including cows, goats and pigs, which can be costly.

To learn more about the sanctuary or to donate, visit its website.