COCONINO COUNTY, Ariz. — Wildlife managers patrolling the perimeter of the Tunnel Fire north of Flagstaff heard from firefighters about a shivering and dehydrated potbellied pig wandering near the burned area.
Just days before, 40 mph had rushed down the northeast side of the San Francisco Peaks giving life to the Tunnel Fire as it bore down on homes north of Flagstaff, the Arizona Game & Fish Department said in a Facebook post.
Because of that, AZGFD said, the wildfire moved at such speed it left residents with just minutes to grab their families and go, forcing many to leave gates open for large pets and livestock to fend for themselves.
Potbelly pigs are incredibly smart – and cautious.
So wildlife managers Kalyn Miller and Tim Holt used leftover hash browns, half a waffle, and a banana to slowly coax the pig to come close enough to catch her.
"Some further wrangling, kicking, and high-pitched squealing ensued before Kalyn sacrificed the sleeve of his jacket as it was the perfect fit over the animal’s cone-shaped face," the Facebook post reads.
Eventually, the pet pig was transported to the Northern Arizona Animal Search and Rescue which had already located her owners who lost everything in the fire.
"We hope the return of their beloved pet brought some joy during this incredibly tough time!" AZGFD said.
The Tunnel Fire, which was first reported on April 17, has burned 19,074 acres and is 30% contained as of Wednesday morning.
Up to Speed
Catch up on the latest news and stories on the 12 News YouTube channel. Subscribe today.