An estimated 2,200 piglets escaped an overturned semi in Xenia Township, Ohio. Authorities confirmed numerous agencies are working together to capture the baby pigs. However, an undisclosed number are still at large.
According to reports, the tiny animals were “feeder pigs,” which are raised to market weight and sold for food production. Fox 19 News reports the piglets were enroute from a South Carolina nursery to an Indiana finishing operation.
At approximately 7 p.m., the semi driver crashed into a guard rail on U.S. 35 West. As a result, the truck overturned and the side burst open — spilling 2,200 baby pigs onto the highway.
Authorities said two people were inside the truck’s cab when the accident occurred. According to reports, the driver suffered minor injuries, which were treated at the scene. The passenger was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Although several hundred baby pigs were killed in the impact, an estimated 2,200 piglets escaped and ran toward a heavily wooded area.
Fox 8 Live reports the captured pigs were transported to the Greene County fairgrounds, where they were fed, watered, and will be temporarily housed. It is unclear how many are still missing.
In 2014, a similar incident occurred near Indianapolis, Indiana. As reported by WQAD, a semi, which was traveling from North Carolina “crashed on the ramp from northbound I-465 onto I-74.”
Although 700 piglets were killed in the impact, 1,300 baby pigs escaped onto the highway. According to reports, the Wayne Township Fire Department spent nearly three hours rounding up the escaped animals.
— FOX19 (@FOX19) June 9, 2015
As discussed by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, piglets are routinely transported from nurseries to finishing operations in other states — via semi. However, the process can be incredibly stressful for the young animals.
It is not uncommon for baby pigs to arrive at finishing operations fatigued, hungry, and thirsty. Unfortunately, these factors can be detrimental to the piglets’ health.
“… disease breaks are even more likely when the pigs are stressed by shipment over long distances, deprived of feed or water, or exposed to bad weather. These stressors decrease the ability of their immune systems to respond to disease challenges.”
As a result, feeder pigs often experience high mortality rates within the first month after arriving at the finishing operation.
The Alabama Cooperative Extension System encourages finishing operations to purchase animals from nurseries that are “only a short distance away” to reduce the stress and subsequent illness associated with long-distance transport.
The eventual fate of the 2,200 piglets, who escaped the overturned semi, is unknown. However, several agencies are still searching for the missing baby pigs.
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