MONTOURSVILLE -- A family's pet pot-bellied pig in Lycoming County was apparently mistaken for a bigger four-legged animal in the woods last week. According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, a hunter shot and killed the pig because he thought it was a bear.
The 5-year-old pot-bellied pig named Chopper roamed around his owner’s property in Montoursville all the time, but last Monday during bear season, he was shot and killed by a hunter who thought Chopper was a bear.
Animal lover Rick Wolfgang still has one pot-bellied pig named Pork at his home in Montoursville. Pork used to pal around with Wolfgang's miniature pot-bellied pig named Chopper.
"The way he's acting now, he's kind of missing him, I believe, because they used to lay next to each other when they slept," said Wolfgang.
Wolfgang owns about 12 acres of land and his pet pigs are allowed go wherever they want. During bear season, he got a call about his pig Chopper he never expected.
"A gentleman mistakenly took him for a bear, I guess, or I guess he thought it was a bear. He decided to shoot instead of knowing what he was shooting at. I found him right up there above the house not too far," said Wolfgang.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the hunter shot onto Wolfgang's property, hitting the pig in the hindquarters.
"A bear in Pennsylvania is a one in a lifetime event, single digit number of bear hunters are successful every year. I think that sometimes people just get a little premature in what they are looking at and I think that is what happened in this case," said Jonathan Wyant.
"Kind of where I have a problem. He was shooting right towards my house, along with shooting my pet,” said Wolfgang.
Wolfgang says the hunter did come to apologize. Now he wants others in the woods to take an extra look before they shoot.
"I mean once you pull that trigger you have to be responsible for that bullet and where it ends up, that's your responsibility," said Wolfgang.
According to the game commission, the hunter may end up paying a fine of several hundred dollars for shooting into a safety zone, but any citation is still pending.