LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - It appears the wandering pig in the Lexington area has a backstory.
Melissa Stephens, who has been caring for the pig, says he showed up in her yard on Pine Drive after Hurricane Matthew last October. Since she couldn't locate the owner, Stephens had been caring for him since then.
"He was running down the road, Pine Drive, and then he came up in the yard," she says. "He was scared so I took him in, put him in my pool room and started feeding him and he's home."
"He loves children. He loves to play. He likes balls, swinging. He's just a loving pet," she says.
"If I didn't give him a candy bar every day he's wandered off and go find one," Stephens says. "He'd go to KJ's market a lot to get one."
Stephens says Max even likes to eat barbecue pork.
The Lexington County Sheriff's Department first captured Max on Monday night wandering near Pine Drive and busy Augusta Highway, but he escaped custody sometime Tuesday. That's when he was spotted in a neighborhood near Gibson Road.
Eventually, he was recaptured Wednesday night.
A Midlands animal control officer in another county who had a pot belly pig as a pet says they like to dig under fences and wander.
Lexington County Sheriff's Department Lt. Eric Russell agrees.
"It's not uncommon for us to pick up potbellied pigs roaming through the county," he says. "He's small and pigs love to dig so he was able to dig out from underneath it so we had to do a little reinforcing of the pen."
"Hopefully the escape siren won't have to go off again because the pig got out," Russell says.
Max is going to a family in the Hartsville area with whom Stephens says she is familiar.
"He needs to go to the country," she says. "He needs to go to a place where he can roam and be safe."