Meet Matilda, Hay River’s Huffing, Grunting, Four-Legged Wildfire Survivor IG News

IG news Update,

When Mark Ellsworth and his family offered to take in their new friend, Matilda, they didn’t expect her to be so… rotten.

Ellsworth said, “I thought she was like a little microscopic pig.” “So my first thought was, ‘Holy crap, she’s huge!'”

Matilda is a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig and weighs 170 pounds.

Scott and Leanne are the owners of the clothier Matilda; They’ve raised him since he was an eight-pound piglet.

Typically, Matilda enjoys taking a walk on the beach, digging in the sand on the shores of Great Slave Lake, and rubbing herself against driftwood.

But this week, the Clothiers had to flee their home in the Hay River as an out-of-control wildfire threatened the community. They headed north to Yellowknife, Matilda, along with all of the other 3,100 residents of the town and the neighboring Kátł’odeeche First Nation Reserve.

“She was definitely top of mind because we wanted to make sure we gave her enough time to be able to get into the vehicle,” Scott said.

they wanted to avoid a marshal’s position,

During the Fort McMurray wildfires in 2016, a family had to abandon their pig, Marshall, when they left their hometown. Thankfully Marshall survives the fire and is reunited with the family.

Scott said, “We thought it would be too heartbreaking to do.”

a man and a pig
Scott Clothier and his wife, Leanne, have owned Matilda since she was an eight-pound pig. (Kate Kyle/CBC)

‘Ladli Princess’

Getting Matilda out of town was easy – this isn’t her first evacuation. Once they were in Yellowknife what to do with it became a challenge.

The plan was to go over to a friend’s place and let him roam the backyard.

Then came the rains.

Scott said, “She’s not used to spending long periods of time outside because she’s a little pampered princess and she sleeps inside our house.”

“Even though we made a really nice shelter for her, she was just getting wet and then coming back to her shelter and wetting her blankets.”

Meet Matilda, the Pot-Bellied Pig at the Shelter in Yellowknife

Matilda is the pot-bellied pig of the Hay River. She is safe and sheltered with a Yellowknife family while a wildfire near her home grows out of control.

The couple turned to social media to see if anyone could help.

The Ellsworths offered a five-foot by five-foot dog kennel in their garage.

And the opportunity to meet Matilda was too good to pass up.

Ellsworth said, “I thought it was great to see a pig, and we’ve always wanted one, but our immediate thought was just to help.”

Still, Matilda has had to adapt. Not all of her regular amenities made the trip to Yellowknife, like her kiddie-pool-sized litter box. Now she does her business wherever she wants.

“Wherever she goes, we have to clean up after her,” Scott said.

A Man
Mark Ellsworth and his family volunteered to take Matilda in. (Kate Kyle/CBC)

But they managed to get a few weeks’ worth of fodder to keep him happy.

“She’s awesome,” Ellsworth said. “She’s so calm. The kids love her, so we’re just sitting there feeding her and petting her.”

Ellsworth has a camera mounted on top of the kennel. He says that he keeps an eye on her during work. The footage – which she shared with Clothiers – is mostly of Sleeping Piggy.

For two years in a row, disasters have forced Hay River and Catlodeche residents to rely on northern generosity.

“It makes it so much easier to know that people are there and helpful to you, and willing to open up their homes,” Scott said.