Colby Cryptid Mildly Cryptic

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 22nd, 2008

The mysterious animal being sighted has not been caught, and thus, technically, it remains a cryptid, it’s identification merely informed speculation.


Colby’s fugitive, however, is believed to be a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, like the above examples. The pot-bellied pig is a breed of domesticated pig (Sus scrofa) originating in Vietnam, with records indicating four are truly indigenous sub-species from Vietnam.

In 2005, the Swedish Agricultural Ministry identified the four original sub-species and their individual traits in a 48 page paper. They revealed that the indigenous Vietnamese Pot-bellied Pig only resides in mountainous Vietnam and Thailand. The Central Plains in Vietnam have mixed large imported pig breeds into the herds of the local farmers. Currently, the Vietnamese government is subsidizing local farmers who continue to raise any of the indigenous Pot-bellied sub-species in an effort to keep the Pot-bellied Pigs from extinction.

Yesterday, news of the reintroduction of the pygmy hog in India appeared here. Now comes word of a possible example of the Vietnamese dwarf breed of pig roaming a Maine college campus.

Talk about free-range swine: This critter’s had the run of the campus for more than a week.

The Colby College campus [in Waterville, Maine] has a new visitor-at-large, and he isn’t paying tuition.

The uninvited guest is a medium-sized charcoal-gray pig, presumed to be male, that has been on the loose on campus for more than a week.

“It’s currently a free-range pig. I spotted it a couple of days ago, grazing on grass on the girls’ softball field when I drove past on my bicycle. It’s about the size of an English Springer Spaniel,” Colby’s director of communications, Steve Collins, said Wednesday.

It is believed to be a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, he said.

A dwarf or miniature swine breed, pot-bellied pigs have become popular as pets. When fully mature, potbellies weigh from 70 to 150 pounds and average 3 feet long by 15 inches high, according to Internet information found at the Department of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University.

The at-large pig was last under human control when Colby students, who were not identified, took the pet pig to a campus cookout, where it slipped its leash, Collins said. The pig was not on the menu.

“No one has had any luck trying to approach it and catch it by hand. Mostly, it’s been in the woods and fields behind the (campus) field house. Somebody said there was plenty of stuff out there for it to eat,” he said.

Pigs are omnivores and can eat both plants and animals, according to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. Natural scavengers, the pigs have been known to eat almost any kind of food — including insects, worms, grubs, tree bark, leaves, grasses, roots, fruits, flowers, garbage and rotting carcasses

Colby’s assistant grounds supervisor Peter McDonald, said several attempts to catch the elusive pig have failed.

“We tried to catch it a couple of ways, like physically chasing after him and using a net to throw over him. That didn’t work. He is very friendly, but as soon as you think about moving, he shoots right away.

“We actually had him eating out of our hands.”

McDonald and his pig posse have set up two, large live animal traps on campus, hoping to lure the pig with bread and other food scraps from the dining hall.

“I’ve been checking the traps a couple of times a day,” he said.

Waterville’s animal control officer is helping the grounds crew set traps

So far, no Colby student has come forward to claim the pig, McDonald said.

The grounds crew almost caught the pig late Wednesday afternoon, but it jumped into the pond and swam away, said Anthony J. Tuell, supervisor of mechanical and electrical services at Colby.

If it hangs around campus long enough, might this free-spirited relative of “Wilbur” (of “Charlotte’s Web” fame) become Colby’s new mascot?

“We’re happy with the mule at this time,” Collins said.

more pig


A BREED of domesticated pig originating in Vietnam with more than a dozen sub-species.

SMALLER THAN standard American farm pigs, most adults are about the size of a medium dog.

UNLIKE OTHER pigs, pot-bellies have straight tails.

THE PIGS are smarter than many animals and are often kept as pets.

Source: “Pig on the lam eludes Colby posse,” by Lynn Ascrizzi, Portland Press Herald, Portland, Maine, May 22, 2008.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

4 Responses to “Colby Cryptid Mildly Cryptic”

  1. red_pill_junkie responds:

    B-B-Q anyone? 😉

  2. cryptidsrus responds:

    I also thought B-B-Q.

    I love A-1 with pork…

    Very politically incorrect, but human of me.

    Anyway, cute animal. I thought of Babe for a sec.

    Good story. Loren!!!

  3. sausage1 responds:

    My ex-bought one of these against my express wishes when we were together. It was an extremely intelligent animal, which is more than could be said for my ex. She assured me it was a female and would not stray, but a short peek around the back revealed the largest portion of ‘meat and two veg’ you have ever seen! No wonder we split up!

    Of course, it escaped within a day, prompting hilarious news items on the local staiton, and irate pig famers sending me bills for spraying their stock to be rid of any pestilence when he tried to get amorous with some lady porkers three times his size. For weeks after, my entry into the local pub was greetd with cries of ‘soooooweeeeeeee!’

    IF it’s loose it will be hard to catch. Just let it be.

  4. red_pill_junkie responds:

    sausage1, that was hilarious! 🙂

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