Baby Pig Smuggled Away from Butcher, Now Queen of Belly Rubs

Written by Marianne Willemse of Love Animal House Sanctuary

When Zoe was just a month old, she was found in an underground Bangkok wildlife market by a Swiss couple who live in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand.  Seeing the tiny, weak and frightened creature stuck in the heat without food, water or any comfort, Elena and Carlos Divitini immediately knew they had to help her or she would not survive for very long. Fearing the worst, they immediately purchased her although they knew it was not legally the ‘right’ thing to do.  But they knew if they went to get the police, the pig would ‘disappear’ from the stall where she was hidden in a box undercover whilst the trader was looking for likely customers.

As they were booked on a flight returning to Chaing Mai the next day, they decided to smuggle her into their hotel room for the night to treat her dehydration and get some soya bean milk into her. They would then take her on the flight the next day.

Now safe and warm

Their intention was to report the incident to the police in Chaing Mai and hand her over to the government Forestry Department upon their return home as they wanted her nearby so they could keep an eye on her progress.

At the airport the next day, the pig was refused onboard without a permit from the forestry deparment and a license of ownership. Since that could take weeks, they decided to hire a taxi at the airport to drive the pig to Chiang Mai. Wanting to make sure the pig would get there, they gave the driver 1,000 baht, enough to cover the petrol and his meals and they told him he would get another 5,000 baht when the pig was safely delivered to their address. The driver took the challenge and even bottle fed the pig on the way. Eight hours later, Zoe arrived at their house looking fatter. Bless the kind taxi driver for getting her there at all as he could have taken the money and had a roast dinner.

Much to their surprise, the illegal pig was of no interest to either the police or the forestry department who declared that they had plenty of pigs.

Zoe has a beautiful life today thanks to Carlos and Elena. If they had hesitated, her story would have a very different ending.

As she started to grow very fast, Elena and Carlos realized they had to find a new, loving home for her. A wild pig, no matter how tame she is, can’t live in a townhouse in the city. Although they would have loved to keep her forever, they started to look for a new suitable forever home for her. Searching the internet, they found Love Animal Sanctuary, which houses formerly abused farm, domestic wild animals and birds in their haven just north of Chaing Mai. This seemed the perfect choice for Zoe since it was obvious she could never survive in the wild. That would be very scary…besides, there’s no watermelon and pasta out there. No belly rubs and lullabies.  No, Elena and Carlos just couldn’t imagine Zoe in the wild.

At Love Animal Sanctuary, Zoe now gets an overdose of attention from visiting Thai students. She turns out to have the IQ of a 5-year-old child and relishes the attention. Yeah! Belly rubs! Four legs up in the air with snoring effects. She gives a good lesson in relaxation. The pig is a meditation master. More photos of Zoe here

Zoe with her puppy stuffed animal.

Zoe only goes wild when she has a bath. She loves it! She jumps and screams and bolts around the compound tumbling over the surprised dogs and students. Love of life is such good therapy from a pig. Zoe will spend her life at Love Animal House Sanctuary

Related Stories:

Powerful Woman Turns ‘Speck of Gold’ into Haven for Animals

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Woman Won’t Let Pig Be Barbecued


Nickihermes Celine
Past Member 4 years ago

heartwarming,thank you for sharing 20/7

Janet B.
Janet B5 years ago

And she went wee,wee, wee all the way to her new home. Belly rubs, baths, and lots of love.....

Diane L.
Diane L5 years ago

Cindy, I most certainly am not one who "disses" all Asians as being animal abusers, nor did I go GA GA over this article when it was originally posted here, some time ago. I know many of Asian heritage have pets, take very good care of them and joke about the "myths". My former fiancee's best friend is Chinese and he is a gourmet cook. He used to visit us and when my Golden Retreiver sat next to him on the sofa, he'd pet him and smile and say, "Hey, Casey? Want to come to my house for stir-fry"? We'd all just laugh.

You said, "And let's not forget McDonald's selling all those Sacred cows.".........not sure what you meant but McDonald's does not slaughter their own beef, nor do they sell "sacred cows" in any way, shape or form. They buy from certain sources and in the past year has declared that they are inspecting those sources closer to make sure all the meat is clean, healthy and 100% "beef", not adulterated with anything, period. Now, I don't eat at McDonald's, but I do find it distasteful to read the untruths and unfactual references made to any corporation.

Cindy Roett
Cindy Roett5 years ago

Please not all Asians are the same!We in North America have our own domestic barbarians.Have you seen the news reports of a Couple of Floridian citizens running a backyard abattoir.They did not even wait until the animals were dead before they sliced them up for meat.And let's not forget McDonald's selling all those Sacred cows.

Sheri D.
Sheri D5 years ago

She's a very lucky pig.

Beth M.
Beth M5 years ago

What a cutie!

Maree Ann Peterson

Thats beautiful these people are Angels in disguise, Bless Them!

Georgia G.
Georgia a5 years ago

When I was younger I thought the Asian civilization was so great. However, as I've aged I've learned many despicable things about them I cannot abide, such as their treatment of animals. The idea of skinning cats and dogs alive because it supposedly makes "the meat more tender" is one. Their craving for ivory, thus adding to the slaughter of so many endangered elephants and rhinos is another. And all the whales and dolphins killed that is laid at their door. What is wrong with a people that seem to have no idea of the feelings of animals? They very well may be civilized in some areas but they certainly are lacking in empathy for our animal friends.

paola ballanti
Paola Ballanti5 years ago

molto fortunata la piccola Zoe

Jennifer U.
Jennifer U.5 years ago

I believe that's actually a peccary, closely related to a pig, but not quite the same thing. I had to try to rescue a runt last summer. Sadly it wasn't found until the day after his birth that he wasn't nursing and being neglected by his mother (they litter had been checked just after birth and all seemed normal). Sadly I couldn't save him, try as I did to get some nourishment in him by hand :(. These guys can actually be really vicious and have very sharp teeth and tusks, but as you can, also very cute and sweet :p. So glad this one was saved.