Esther the Wonder Pig is living a life of luxury.
The 300-pound, house-trained pig lives on a one-third acre lot in a Halton subdivision, just outside of the GTA, with her owners Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter.
And thanks to a recent Facebook page created by the pair, Esther has quickly risen to international fame and has thousands of admirers from around the globe.
When Jenkins and Walter first brought her home in August 2012, she fit into a cat carrier.
“We were told that she was a micro pig, that she would grow to be 70 or 80 lb.,” said Jenkins, who, after minimal research, adopted Esther from a home where she was not a good fit.
“We were duped,” said Walter. “We were told that she was six months old, but when we took her to the vet, it turned out that she was about six weeks old.”
The couple decided to keep Esther and raise her as a pet. The pig quickly became a part of the family, and her owners were happy to give her the life they felt she deserved. Though the pair said that raising Esther was difficult at times, they have not run into any major obstacles other than the frustration of house-training her.
“You can tell what she wants by her body language,” said Walter. “If she’s pacing, she wants to go outside. If she comes over and puts her head on your lap while you’re on the couch, she wants to be cuddled on the couch.”
Jenkins and Walter created a Facebook page and YouTube channel in early December to share photos and video of Esther with their family and friends. Within a week, their story had been picked up by several blogs, and the popularity of their pages skyrocketed. The pair has received heartfelt messages of support from people in the U.S., Europe and China. Jenkins attributed their widespread popularity to their unique situation.
“So many people have pot-bellied pigs. Nobody has [a pig] in this scenario,” he said.
The couple plans to eventually open a sanctuary for homeless pigs – that is, pigs with owners who cannot accommodate them. Until then, they are using Esther’s fame to promote a pork-free lifestyle and raise awareness of miniature pig scams.
“Do your research,” advised Walter. “Don’t go in blind, because it’s a lot of work.”
Check out a video from Esther’s YouTube account below: