Friday, 8 June 2007

Somewhere, a pig was herding sheep ...

... But I can't find the article about it.

Today I read in the Swedish newspaper DN about the llama stallion Grosse Günther, who will protect a herd of sheep against wolves. "At four years of age, the llamas are equipped with so-called killer-teeth, sharp like razorblades and enough to get most attackers", the sheepfarmer Ulf Ekman explains.

It's a bit funny, because I thought livestock guarding dogs (NB, not the same as herding dogs) were the best choice for protecting sheep against wolves (employed by sheepfarmers wherever humans, wolves and sheep have been coexisting since earliest times). Here is a report on livestock guarding dogs in Slovakia (in PDF format). Some typical livestock guarding dog breeds are Carpathian shepherd dogs, Mioritic shepherd dogs, Caucasian ovcharkas, Central Asian ovcharkas and Kangals.

But maybe these Swedish sheepfarmers don't have any experience with such dogs, and a llama is much easier for them to handle?

Anyway, why is this post about dogs, sheep and llamas, but not pigs?

Well, as I read about Grosse Günther, I remembered a story about a pig herding sheep some time in the 19th century, like a real-life Babe. The pig would lead the sheep to good grazing, bring them home in the evenings, and chase off wolves if need be.
I came across that story a couple of years ago as I was researching for "Pigs Have Wings", but I can't find it anymore ... If anyone has more luck than me, drop me a note!

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