Feel Good Sunday ~ “Meet Wilma the Feral Pig. She thinks she’s a horse.”
Penny the Dog is barking at a wild pig roaming among a herd of horses.
But not everything is always what it seems.
“Common silly pig!” called Sarah Keawe, a handler with the Hawaii Polo Club in Molukeia on Oahu’s scenic North Shore.
That pig is named “Wilma” and she’s more than welcome.
In fact, Wilma’s decided where the horses roam, is exactly where she wants to be.
She sticks to them like glue until she needs to do what you might expect from a feral pig when a watering hole is on the way.
“All clean now!” laughed Keawe, after Wilma took a roll in the water, then jumped back in line.
The herd reaches the open field at the polo club.
It’s the kind of site that makes you rub your eyes and blink twice.
“You did good Wilma,” Keawe chirps, as the little pig keeps up the pace.
Wilma continued to trot lock-step from start to finish — even though she’s quite a bit shorter than her four-legged friends.
“She came over and just adopted all of the horses, said Devon Daily, an accomplished polo player, who manages the club.
Frank Hinshaw, AKA “The Pig Whisperer,” owns Skydive Hawaii across the street.
He has a pretty good idea what happened.
“She was in a family of a half-dozen or eight piglets. We’d see them on the side of the road and she was the only one who has the sense to come over to this side of the road I guess,” he said, laughing.
“Yeah, she thinks they’re her herd,” said handler Sarah Keawe, who cares for Wilma nearly every day.
She said Wilma works the whole room, but has her favorites, and none of the horses seem to mind her company.
They suspect, in Wilma’s mind, she’s not much different.
“I think she thinks she’s a horse. You know, this is her family. This is what she has left,” said Daily.
These days, she’s sporting a red harness.
Wilma roams free, but and everybody here knows they needed to do something to try and keep her safe.
“There’s tons of hunters around here. It needed to be done,” said Daily, smiling softly.
“We just wanted her marked so people would know that she’s a pet,” said Keawe.
If there was any question she’s still wild, wait until she thinks she’s getting short-changed on food.
Her squeals splintered our ears when she couldn’t get to a few morsels stuck on the bottom of a nearby bin.
“She’s still got her piggy ways,” chuckled Keawe.
But most of the time she’s friendly, curious, and no doubt, getting downright comfortable.
When Hinshaw’s co-worker T.K. offered up a tummy rub, Wilma flopped to her side and closed her eyes.
“Have you guys named her?” asked visitor Kristen Kramar.
She was waiting for a trail ride with her 13 year-old daughter Mieka.
“Wilma! Oh that’s so sweet!” said Kramar.
The two were on their last day in the islands before heading back to Winnepeg, Canada.
“She’s a camera ham! But don’t say ham to much,” she laughed.
Kramar said, all she knew of feral pigs came from a warning from a friend who told her to stay away. But this time:
“It’s so cool that we get to see the wildlife that’s actually here in Hawaii! She’s just wonderful,” said Kramar.
The occasional cries from Daily’s baby girl Isla Grace was no match for Wilma.
He envisions pairing the two, maybe making a miniature saddle for Wilma, if she’ll have it.
Besides, they know that unexpected edition will always be able to call it home.
“I want her to be here for a long time,” said Keawe.