Video of Pig Saving Baby Goat From Drowning Was Faked

By Suzan Clarke

Feb 26, 2013 9:33pm

A video that showed a pig saving a baby goat that was apparently stuck in a pond garnered millions of YouTube views and tugged at heartstrings around the world, but the video’s creator is now acknowledging that it was all faked.

The New York Times reported today that the video was created for “Nathan for You,” a new docu-reality series on Comedy Central starring Nathan Fielder.

According to the show’s Web page, Fielder uses his business degree and life experiences to help struggling companies with strategies that no traditional business consultant would dare to attempt.

That would explain the rationale behind the faked video, which was created for the Oak Glen Petting Zoo in Oak Glen, Calif.

A video posted on the show’s Web page explained how the clip called “Petting Zoo Hero” was created.

“My mission was to make Oak Glen Petting Zoo a destination,” Fielder narrated. “What they needed was a star animal. The plan? To create a hero pig by staging a viral video in which he rescues a baby goat from drowning.”

The plan hit an early snag when the zoo’s pig, named Vince, wouldn’t cooperate, according to the video. A professional pig double that had had experience in movies was brought in to play the part of the rescuer to the goat “victim.”

The video went on to explain that the show employed divers along with animal trainers and other crew members. The divers were secretly submerged in the pond and their job was to lift and hold the animals in the water from just beneath the surface. That plan hit an early snag when the pig kept slipping from a diver’s hands, so crews built a transparent track, placed it in the water, and the divers guided the pig along that track.

“This worked a lot better,” Fielding said in the video’s narration. “I was hopeful it would fool the Internet audience into believing this video was real.”

It did. The video was shown on numerous news programs, including ABC News’ “Good Morning America.” It was also the focus of many news reports around the world, and it was seen more than seven million times on YouTube, where many viewers were touched by the scene and others compared the pig to one from “Babe,” the hit film starring a brave pig of the same name.

The finished work that Fielder’s show posted to YouTube showed the little goat, apparently stuck and bleating in distress in the middle of the pond. Enter the heroic pig, swimming strongly to the goat’s position and nudging the animal to land.

The Times also reported that the goat apparently grew so comfortable in the water that its cries of distress had to be added to the video after the shoot.

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