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Crews use hash browns, waffle to return potbellied pig to Tunnel Fire victims

By David Baker

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    FLAGSTAFF, Arizona (KTVK, KPHO) — A family who were victims of the Tunnel Fire got a special family member back thanks to some Arizona Game and Fish Department staff members.

On April 19, winds fueled the Tunnel Fire on the northeast side of the San Francisco Peaks, forcing homeowners north of Flagstaff to flee with only minutes to grab their stuff.

Many of them left gates open for large pets and livestock to fend for themself. During the next few days, Game and Fish managers Kalyn Miller and Tim Holt were on patrol near the perimeter of the fire when they heard firefighters saw a shivering and dehydrated potbellied pig wandering nearby.

They used leftover hash browns, half a waffle and a banana to coax the pig to get close enough to Miller and Holt so they could get a catchpole over her.

The pig didn’t come quietly as there was a lot of kicking and high-pitched squealing. But Miller used his jacket sleeve to put over the animal’s cone-shaped face, and she calmed down.

She was then taken to the Northern Arizona Animal Search and Rescue. Crews there had already found the owners, and they were reunited with their beloved pig.

The family lost their home in the fire, but the Game and Fish Department said it hopes the family reunion brings them a little joy during this tough time.

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