250-Pound Pig to Be Euthanized After Seriously Injuring Both Owners in Attacks Hours Apart
A Massachusetts couple was hospitalized hours apart after their pot-bellied pig attacked them both at their farm in the same day, officials said.
Shannon and Jose Hernandez’s 5-year-old, 250-pound boar named Boss “snapped” after she took him away from the female pigs that were in heat at their Townsend farm Tuesday, she said on social media.
“I was by myself at (the) time, I had went to get him locked back in and he turned on me,” she wrote on Facebook.
The boar cut her with his tusks, giving her five “big gashes” on her legs and arms, she said.
Emergency responders brought Shannon Hernandez, 38, to Leominster Hospital after tending to her injuries at the farm about 5:50 p.m., officials said.
Less than two hours later rescuers were called back to the same farm, where Shannon Hernandez’s husband had been seriously hurt by the same boar.
It was while she was being tended to at the hospital that Shannon learned that her husband had been attacked.
Jose Hernandez, 50, was so seriously injured that a medical helicopter was requested, but weather conditions made it impossible to fly, officials said.
He was rushed to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester with life-threatening injuries.
“I broke down,” she wrote on Facebook, “The nurse had to take the calls for me as they (were) trying to work on my wounds.”
She said she believed her husband had went down to give the boar water when he was also attacked by Boss, who had severed arteries in Jose Hernandez’s hands with his tusks.
The severely injured man managed to make it to the road, where someone driving by stopped and called 911, she wrote. He was given two pints of blood when he made it to the hospital and is now in stable condition, authorities said.
The attacks blindsided the couple, Shannon said, calling Boss and the other pigs on her farm her “pets.”
“Sad that something we love doing hurt us this bad,” wrote Shannon, who refers to herself on social media as a farmer, a breeder and “a mother of animals.”
“I know pigs can get edgy when the females come into heat but I honestly never thought he would attack me and hubby like he did,” Shannon wrote. “My heart aches my mind aches.”
Townsend Police said they conferred with Townsend Animal Control Warden Mary Letourneau, the Animal Rescue League, the Massachusetts State Veterinarian, a local vet, the Massachusetts State Animal Inspector and the owner of the pig to come to the decision to euthanize the boar.
A rabies test is being conducted out of an abundance of caution, police said.
But Boss' behavior is not uncommon for an intact boar to exhibit when around females in heat, an expert in pig behavior told InsideEdition.com.
“What you have here is nothing more than normal pig behavior,” Marcie Christensen, president of the California Potbellied Pig Association told IE.com.
Christensen, who does not know the Hernandez family or their animals personally, said she does not believe the pig needs to be put down after an incident like this.
“Neuter him! Neuter him and she’ll see a behavior difference within six months or less,” she said. “It’s not like a dog… where you hear ‘once they taste blood, that’s it.’ This is purely a pig in heat. He saw a moving body and he jumped it. I would love to see right done by this pig and not see it put down.”
Hernandez did not respond to requests for comment.