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July 28th, 2009
03:32 PM ET

Roaming free in Florida, a pig gains local fame

Damien Cave
The New York Times

Thomas Paine and Ayn Rand, make way for Porky. Or is it Wilbur?

No one really knows what to call the 150-pound pig roaming free in Panama City, Fla., but by eluding the authorities for five months, shaking off a Taser and four tranquilizer darts on Tuesday, the porker has become more than just swine.

The pig is now a local libertarian hero. Supporters describe the animal as a freedom-loving outlaw with a taste for corn. His Facebook page lists more than 200 fans, like Mary K. Sittman, who asked this week, “Is the pig a symbol of our desire to live free of government controls?”

In an interview, Ms. Sittman said the pig, which lives in a lush, muddy park near her home, had “to be a real survivor.” It is this independence, she said, that appeals to residents in her mostly conservative area in the Florida Panhandle.

The pig is also frugal fun.

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