For several months, a black pig has been spotted in the Williamsburg area, rummaging through residents’ gardens and trekking through the woods around James City County.
He — or she? — has been the subject of several photos and posts on social media, accompanied by commenters asking where the mysterious swine came from.
Turns out, there is more than one pig… and at least one of the pot-bellied pigs has been the subject of a court case in the Williamsburg-James City County General District Court.
James City County Animal Control has been chasing down loose black pigs for several months.
So far, the county has caught three pigs, but it’s unclear whether all three pigs came from the same property or home, James City County Police spokeswoman Stephanie Williams said.
One pig is still on the loose, and has been named “Sir Bacon of Burg” by Facebook users, although it’s unclear whether the pig is male or female.
The pig has been spotted along Longhill Road, near Monticello Avenue, Ford’s Colony and more, according to social media posts.
“Animal Control is aware of the pig and is working on attempts to capture the pig,” Williams said. “If folks see the pig, they are asked to report sightings directly to animal control at 757-565-0370.”
In October, Carl the male pot-bellied pig with tusks was seized by James City County Animal Control. He was taken to Heritage Humane Society, but was too aggressive to be adopted or rescued, Heritage Executive Director Kimberly Laska said.
Williams said a pig was humanely euthanized after consultation with a local veterinarian, animal control and other animal experts.
Weeks later, Barbie, a 280-pound black pig, was also seized by animal control. She was later adopted by a farm in Norge, transported there via the shelter’s rescue wagon.
Last and most recently, a small baby pig named Goober was taken to the shelter, then later adopted by a farm in Gloucester.
A pig in court
A male pot-bellied pig, Carl, was seized by James City County Animal Control Oct. 2.
On Oct. 10, Williamsburg-James City County Commonwealth’s Attorney Nathan Green filed a request in the general district court for a judge to rule whether the pig had been abandoned by its owner.
Court documents list Courtney Carter, a resident on News Road in Williamsburg, as the owner of the pig.
On Oct. 16, Judge Colleen Killilea ruled the pig had been “abandoned, cruelly treated, or denied adequate care,” and ordered that Carter no longer be able to own or possess any companion animals.
Court records show Carter did not show up for the court hearing, found guilty in absentia.
A popular pig
The elusive swine has been named “Sir Bacon of Burg” by the internet.
Facebook user Kelsey Helmick created the Sir Bacon of Burg Facebook group on Christmas Eve after seeing new posts about the loose black pig in a different Facebook group.
By the end of the evening, the group already had about 75 members, Helmick said.
“Initially, the group was just for fun and for tracking where our elusive pig travels, but I decided that I wanted the group to be more than that,” Helmick wrote in a Facebook message. “I wanted to use this as an opportunity for our community to learn more about pigs (both domestic and feral), their use in the colonial time frame (especially since we have such an obvious connection to that time period), and to learn about the pig’s eventual namesake.”
Sir Bacon of Burg was named after Sir Francis Bacon, which was suggested by another Facebook user. She said the name is a historical reference, and is not intended to label the pig as food.
“I don’t live in the original area he was spotted, and I don’t travel his last known location very often, so I haven’t had the honor of seeing Sir Bacon yet,” Helmick said.