JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va. — The James City County Police Department shot and killed a pig Monday that was creating safety concerns.
The pig was one of four that had been running loose in the county. While police and animal control officers were able to round up the others, they hadn't been able to capture the pig that many people named "Sir Bacon of Burg."
Officers believed all the pigs were domestic pigs that either escaped or that someone released. The last one that was free had become a serious safety hazard. People spotted the pig along heavily traveled roads like Route 199, and in the areas of Longhill Road, Monticello Avenue, and John Tyler Highway.
After police and animal control consulted with a veterinarian and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, they determined that using a tranquilizer gun was not a viable option.
After someone spotted the pig in the median of Route 199 between Monticello Avenue and John Tyler Highway around 9:30 a.m. on Monday, officers stopped traffic and shot the pig.
“He’s just something that symbolized togetherness for us, he brought together hundreds of people who don’t know each other, will probably never meet each other,” said Kelsey Helmick.
Helmick is the creator of the Sir Bacon of Burg Facebook page.
“His namesake Sir Francis Bacon, we’ve learned about him, we have a Bacon Street in Williamsburg, so it was a great way to really tie in our history,” said Helmik.
“It kind of became an urban legend in the town that was so sorely needed,” said Michelle Georges
Georges is one of more than 400 people that have been following his every oink online. She was one of those residents lucky enough to catch the swine with her own eyes.
“It looked like he was going from fast food place to fast food place like many people in Williamsburg do,” said Georges.
“They really took it to heart, and they ended up really loving this pig, I had no idea that this group was going to be as big as it was,” said Helmick.
The website, Williamsburgvisitor.com, even used Sir Bacon to ham it up with tourists.
“Some tourists did want to come and find the pig, I think they were hoping that it was something that they could come and see and take pictures of,” said Tryna Fitzpatrick who runs the website.
“It’s just a sad ending for such a wonderful fun thing for us to unify around,” said Georges.
“I personally harbor no hard feelings toward the police I know they acted in the best interest of the city and of the pig,” said Helmik.