Prospects for a disabled farm animal born with deformed hind legs are normally not very optimistic. But not this time.
The little piglet, born without the use of its hind legs, first shot to fame when his owner, veterinarian Dr Len Lucero from Clermont, Florida, constructed for him a small wheelchair from children’s toys to help the animal move around.
“He’s cute. He grunts. And he’s got a pretty cute little wheelchair,” said veterinarian Len Lucero, trying to explain why his YouTube video of the piglet , named Chris P. Bacon, burst the Internet and was seen more than 474 000 times in two weeks.
More than 14 000 people have “liked” the “Chris P Bacon Pig on Wheels” Facebook page, and 1 000 people follow him on Twitter.
“It’s been a dream, almost not real,” Dr Lucero told Orlando Sentiel about his piglet’s online fame. “He gave a lot of snorts and grunts, and people just ate it up.”
After a client who didn’t care for the baby piglet dropped him off at Lucero’s veterinary hospital, the veterinarian grabbed pieces from a child’s set of K’nex construction toys to build a tiny wheelchair aimed to help Chris to move.
“He was healthy and I was afraid he would have eventually met his maker,” Lucero said, adding that he has no idea how big Chris might become, or anything about his parentage.
The six-minute video shows the month-old piglet struggling with the contraption on Lucero’s living room rug, writes The Daily Mail.
Chris walks on his front legs while his hind legs are on the wheelchair. He grunts and roots around in the rug for food. He later fed lamb formula out of a baby bottle and wears a wet milk moustache.
Chris has outgrown his second wheelchair and a new one will soon be required, more permanent and rugged model.
The veterinarian revealed that owing a famous piglet, set this week to make his national TV debut on a daytime talk show, has changed his life, reports News 24.
“He just makes me happy,” said Lucero, adding that he is getting “3 or 4 hours of sleep a night, if that, because I’m trying to keep up with all his media”.
He has unveiled his plans for “I Love Chris P Bacon” T-shirts and possible advertisements on his YouTube videos.
The kind man confessed that he does not expect to make much money off Chris’ celebrity and that Chris’ true value to him lies elsewhere.
“I want my piggy to be famous,” Lucero said. “My goal is to put him out there because he makes people happy.”
“Under circumstances, and the proper mobility aid, I do not see why he cannot live a normal life, or as normal as possible. This is nothing amusing, nor should it be punishable by death, but rather be looked at as my trying to help my otherwise helpless pet.”
Meanwhile, Chris’s fans are sending best wishes to the pet and his owner: “How cute is he! Good on you for helping him,” wrote a YouTube user.