State troopers face all sorts of challenges on the road, but an officer this week encountered one that required some tackling skills.
Trooper Anthony Frederick had just started his shift Thursday when a call came in about a four-legged escapee on the grassy median along Interstate 80 — a pig.
He drove to the location 2 miles west of Lincoln, but didn’t see a porker.
Frederick returned to headquarters to finish some paperwork, and another call came in about the pig.
He drove out again and this time spotted the pink head of a baby pig poking out from the median’s tall grass.
Animals along I-80 pose a danger for drivers, plus Frederick didn’t want anything bad to happen to the little guy. So the trooper grabbed his jacket to use as a makeshift net and walked toward the pig.
The porker made a run for it, while Frederick gave chase. The pig slipped away and edged up toward the road.
Frederick backed away, and the pig retreated back into the grass. Then Frederick sprinted at the piglet — who seemed to be running out of gas — lunged at him and scooped up the animal.
“He was really squealing,” said Frederick, who was coated with mud from diving in the soggy median. “He wasn’t very happy with me.”
As the trooper carried the baby pig back to his patrol cruiser, the animal calmed down. Frederick, who thinks the pig slipped out of a livestock truck, said it seemed like he was glad his adventure was over.
Frederick took the piglet to Lincoln’s animal shelter.
Frederick, a self-proclaimed animal lover, said he has corralled dogs, horses and cows during his career, but this was the first pig.
“It’s just another story in my career,” he said.