Piggy in the middle of town
Kelly Stewart drew plenty of attention when she walked her pet pig, Muck, down Brook St in Nelson.
Wearing a miniature harness, the 3-month-old kune kune trotted calmly on a lead behind Stewart, lapping up attention from neighbourhood children. He is toilet trained, sits on command, and has learned how to open the fridge.
"He's like kids, he throws tantrums when he doesn't get his own way," Stewart said.
The pig is just starting to grow tusks and can peel his own bananas and mandarins, although potato chips are his favourite snack. Stewart expected him to reach between 180 and 315 kilograms in adulthood.
Given his eventual size, she understood he might make a tempting target for unscrupulous sorts, so she's had the pig microchipped.
"If anyone decides that my pig is going to be their roast for the night, I'm going to catch them before they do the act."
Stewart's mission for Muck is to use him to teach children about "house pigs". She hoped to one day be able to bring him into schools and kindergartens for educational purposes.
Oh, and Muck's a legit part of his family's house: Nelson City Council regulations do not contain any restrictions on keeping pet pigs in urban areas as long as their environment is kept clean and noise or odours are confined to the owner's premises.
- The Nelson Mail