Tranquilliser gun used to ‘take down’ 60kg pig running wild on Donegal roads

The Vietnamese Pot-bellied pig who was found wandering the roads in Donegal

Attempts are made to trap the pig

A volunteer tries to entice the pig with some food


A huge black pig which ran loose in Co Donegal had to be “taken down” and sedated using a tranquilliser gun.

A number of animal organisations were tasked with “bringing home the bacon” after the 60kg animal was found wandering on rural roads.

The Vietnamese Pot-bellied pig set alarm bells ringing after it was spotted roaming freely near traffic in Donegal Town.

Gardaí received a call about the porker and contacted various animal agencies.

Several groups including the Animals In Need Charity, Wild Ireland, the ISPCA, as well as a number of local vets, swung into action to rescue the roaming creature.

Animals In Need volunteers initially brought the pig away from any danger on the roads by enticing the pig into a field with some food. However, when they tried to trap the pig it gave them the slip.

Attempts are made to trap the pig

An AIN volunteer said: “We then set up a large, humane trap to try to catch him, but when we went back to check on it, he was standing outside it, having a good look, and all we had caught was a fed-up looking cat.”

Due to the proximity to traffic, it became a multi-agency job to try and catch the pig, and it was decided that it needed to be sedated.

Killian McLaughlin of the Wild Ireland animal sanctuary was contacted and went to the scene.

Mr McLaughlin, who has experience using tranquilliser guns at his animal centre in Burnfoot, then surveyed the scene along with local vet Nick Brannigan, the vet from Old Church Vets, and ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley.

A volunteer tries to entice the pig with some food

“It was quite a tense situation as there was the real danger that the pig could have ran back into traffic and put lives at risk,” said Mr McLaughlin.

“He was weaving in and out of traffic and it was potentially very dangerous. Thankfully we managed to get him into an isolated spot and we took him down.

“We then managed to get him into a horse trailer and he was transported to the ISPCA centre at Ballyare outside Letterkenny.

“I have used the tranquilliser a number of times but not out in the field and there was a little bit of pressure to take down the animal – but thankfully it all went well.”

It is understood the pig has now been safely rehoused and is not too stressed after his ordeal.

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