Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter were told about pygmy piglet for sale in their area and decided they needed this adorable little gal in their lives. They were told that it was a miniature pig that would only grow up to be at most 70 pounds. Well it wasn’t long after they brought the adorable piglet home and named her Esther that they realized this piglet wasn’t a normal mini pig. She was growing at an alarming rate and they decided to take her to the vet to see what was going on. That’s when they realized that their lives would be changed forever. They received the news that Esther might be a normal commercial pig and they should expect her to reach around 250 lbs! Well even the vet was wrong. The story goes much further than that and Esther is now a world known sensation with her sights set on Hollywood.
Jenkins was contacted by an old friend and asked if he was interested in purchasing a micro pig. Jenkins knew his partner would be hesitant on adopting a farm animal but he said yes anyway and went home with an adorable 3 week old piglet.
He told the Washington Post that he thought owning Esther would be like having a 3rd dog. He was promised that she would not grow to be over 70 lbs. They lived in an area that did not permit owning hooded animals as pets so there were a few hurdles.
Walter was hesitant at first like Jenkins thought he would be but he warmed up to Esther almost immediately. “The first couple of weeks, we had this baby animal in our house,” Jenkins said. “Anybody that has a bleeding heart loves baby animals; you can’t help but fall in love,” Jenkins told WP.
They took Esther to the vet who said “i’m pretty sure you’re dealing with a commercial pig here, she could get to be 250 lbs”
Unable to get ahold of the pigs previous owner to find out more, they quickly realized that they needed more space fast.
Within 2 years, Esther the micro pig, grew into a 650lb, full-sized, commercial pig. She is an enormous domesticated house pig now. She was raised in a 3 bedroom home in Georgetown, Ontario, Canada.
“She was incredible from the day we brought her home, super clever,” Jenkins told the outlet. “We’d see intelligence in her we didn’t even see in our dogs.”
She was smarter than most house pets. Without training, she would open doors, cabinets and the fridge. She used a litter box or went outside to use the bathroom. She is an incredibly smart animal.
At just 18 months old, Esther was a whopping 420 lbs! They couldn’t get rid of her, but they couldn’t stay in the 3 bedroom home with her.
The couple started a Facebook Page for Esther and her following grew to the thousands very quickly.
They knew that it wasn’t fair for Esther to be contained in such a small space and they knew it was time to move out for their beloved pig.
The couple found a 50-acre farm located just 40 minutes away from their house. The property was way out of their budget, listed at $1 million. They knew the community supported them and Esther so they started to crowdfund their goal. Within 2 months they raised $440,000 from 9,000 people in 44 countries!
In November of 2014, they relocated to their new farmhouse and aptly named it Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary. Esther was the first farm animal but soon after the place was fixed up, they brought in a cow, horses, goats and another pig!
In 2018 Esther fell ill and was taken to the local vet college. Professionals discovered that she needed a CT scan. There was a problem, she couldn’t fit into the average machine.
“We just assumed that they had that sort of equipment and that any university would have that sort of equipment, and so it was a huge shock to find out they didn’t.” Once again, the couple reached out to Esthers huge following asking for help. They needed to raise enough money to bring in the necessary equipment, not just for Esther but for every large animal in the community.
Within four months they exceeded the goal of $650,000, raising an extra $120,000. They took the extra and donated it all to other animal charities. With the new equipment, they discovered that Esther had breast cancer.
They caught the illness with enough time to be able to treat it. Esther is now completely cancer free.
Esther and her parents have been through a lot but they have never stopped loving each other. Her owners even have a New York Times bestseller aptly named “Esther the Wonder Pig.”
Esther has changed their lives forever and opened up opportunities they never saw coming. Esther has now made her way from social media onto the big screen! The Hollywood film company that produced X-men and Free Willy are working to turn Esther’s book into a movie!
Esther now lives the beautiful life she deserves and it was all a big accident.
She shares her home with many new friends offering a sanctuary for any animal in need.
She is still Queen of the castle and by the looks of it, she knows it.
Have you ever seen a happier pig then Esther?
H/T: Instagram, Esther the Wonder Pig
Esther’s owners have worked hard and dedicated their lives to helping this pig and others in rough situations. They have a New York Times bestseller and a movie on the way. I’d say that Esther, who was originally a big problem, has become the best thing to ever happen to this big-hearted couple and we love it!