The Toronto couple who owns the Internet-famous "Esther the Wonder Pig" told ABC News today that their beloved 650-pound pet became very ill over the weekend and was rushed to a veterinary hospital.
Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter said Esther, who has 1.5 million followers on Instagram and Facebook, began convulsing, hyperventilating, and turning purple on Saturday.
Jenkins and Walter rushed her to a veterinary hospital in Ontario but said veterinarians there were unable to diagnose the problem. Esther is now home and is doing better, they said, but they are still concerned about her unknown condition.
Her owners said they are weighing options for potentially bringing her to the United States for treatment, but have concerns about getting her back into Canada. The Canadian government requires a 30-day quarantine for pigs entering the country, among other requirements, and Jenkins and Walter have started an online petition on Change.org to have the government waive the quarantine.
Jenkins and Walter said they inherited Esther from an acquaintance on Facebook and were initially under the impression that their new pet was a miniature pig that would grow to only 70 pounds.
Despite weighing only two or three pounds when the couple got her, Esther was not a “mini pig” at all. Her owners said she had actually once belonged to a factory farm where she potentially could have been slaughtered for food.
Already too attached to her, Jenkins and Walter decided to keep Esther and have been raising her like one of their dogs.