The Warsaw pig is a local domestic animal – News firsts
Even by the sensationalist standards of the modern celebrity world, there is little in Lily’s life that can be considered normal.
Saved from the jaws of death in his youth, the 300-pound heavyweight has since continued to rack up countless media appearances while building a cult following after counting more than 10,000 on Facebook.
However, she’s not a showbiz diva, but rather a pig, who has become one of Poland’s most famous living animals.
Saved from a slaughterhouse in 2014 by Paweł Połoński and Katarzyna Eisler, the couple adopted the piglet when she weighed only four kilos. The decision to do it, they tell TFN, was marked by its spontaneity: “It was something that we suddenly realized we just had to do.”
Contacting pro-animal organizations for advice, they then called several slaughterhouses to see if they were ready to donate a pig.
“Most responded by laughing at us,” they say, “but we finally found a breeder who was passionate. He himself chose the weakest pig from the most recent litter and, at our request, did not put him through any painful standard procedures such as extracting his teeth or cutting his tail.
With no experience in raising such an animal and little information online, the couple learned to take a trial approach by mistake.
“Immediately though, we noticed how smart she was,” they say. “She started responding to her name after only about 15 minutes, and she learned to use a litter box from the first moment she was placed in it.
“Pigs are smart,” they add, “after a few days she realized that the refrigerator was where food was kept, so she quickly learned to open it!”
Although renowned for her mental aptitude, Lily’s latent intelligence quickly came to the fore.
“She took dog training and took a course that typically lasted two weeks for dogs in just two days.”
Among other things, this meant mastering the commands to “walk”, “sit”, “get up” and “go”. In addition, she quickly demonstrated an understanding of human emotions.
“She can read people very well,” Paweł and Katarzyna continue. “If either of us is down, she will put her head on our knees to comfort us. If we are ever bored with her, she can sense it and will crouch down to apologize in a corner.
Loving to shatter misconceptions, Lily has also done a lot to prove that pigs are, despite public belief, very clean animals.
“People think pigs are dirty because they seem to be confined in captivity, often in close quarters and forced to sleep in their own feces – but under the right conditions, a pig will never take care of its own physiological needs. same place. that he eats and sleeps. Of course, that’s not to say that wild pigs don’t like mud baths, but that’s because mud provides natural protection from the sun and insects.
However, Lily’s fame owes more to her myth-busting exploits alone. Moving into the couple’s tiny apartment in the Warsaw suburb of Ursynów, she quickly became a local celebrity after photos began circulating of her walking on a leash around the city.
Although some concerns and complaints have been raised by residents of the same building, her impeccable demeanor and increasingly high profile have elevated her to the rank of a highly regarded local figure and it has become common, according to the duo, that the neighbors come with treats. for the pig.
“In all truth,” said the duo, “she’s only really embarrassed once in public and that’s when she got wet on a subway platform – to make matters worse. things, we only had a few handkerchiefs with us. It was not easy to clean up, especially since we had to put his urine in a plastic bag to be able to use the same tissues again!
More and more it was evident that the couple would eventually have to move, and although they still remain in the area, they now reside in a house with a large garden and a runway for Lily.
“She has become a big attraction,” say Paweł and Katarzyna. “On weekends, whole families come by bike to our house, especially to see it.”
They are not his only fans.
With her estate neglected by a vegan kindergarten named Przyjaciele Świnki (Pig Friends), she has become a favorite with children.
“Of course, for security reasons, children are not allowed to enter his quarters,” say Paweł and Katarzyna, “but they have the option of throwing carrots and apples at him. She has become a big part of their life, and for many children, Lily’s name has become one of the first key words in their lives.
Lovers of belly massages and bananas, the duo list Lily’s main passions as “food and relaxation”. Biting eight pounds of food a day, according to the couple, she is just as prone to allowing magpies to sit on her back and peck her hair.
Currently featured in a section of the Warsaw Museum’s “ Animals ” exhibit, Lily did not let fame interfere with her daily life and over the years has become an integral part of the couple’s family life.
“This pig has completely changed our lives,” they say. “She taught us to make important decisions quickly and to be courageous in our actions. Thanks to her, we also met many great people. But we don’t “own” it. We live with it. She’s part of the family and that’s what we love the most.
In the end, Lily’s impact went far beyond her one house. More than a curious novelty for the media and the public, according to the couple, it has positively changed thousands of lives.
“Before they meet Lily, most people think of pigs as a food source – but when they look that ‘food’ in the eye, that’s when they realize that pigs are more than something. to eat. Like a cat or a dog, they realize that he is a sentient being with the capacity to think and feel.
“In the seven years we spent with Lily, we received not hundreds of messages, but thousands of people who said that it was because of her story that they became vegetarians or excluded pork. of their diet. While it’s hard to say what people can “learn” from Lily, she definitely helped open eyes and hearts.