US blizzard 2016: Family saves freezing piglet from snow

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Perry Smith and his son with an icy pigletImage source, Perry Smith
Image caption,
Perry Smith and his 13-year-old son retrieved the icy piglet from the side of the road

A family have won praise after rescuing a piglet stuck in snow and ice during the massive blizzard in the eastern US.

Perry Smith pulled the frozen pig out of mounting piles of snow after spotting him on the side of the road.

After checking whether it belonged to local residents, the family took the animal back to their hotel at a ski resort in the state of Maryland.

It appears they successfully nursed him back to health by wrapping him up warm and feeding him bananas and cereal.

The huge snowstorm in the US has paralysed roads and services since Friday, with at least 29 deaths reported.

In the freezing conditions, the family had no choice but to take the pig in, Mr Perry was quoted as saying.

"He would have died," he told the Washington Post. "He would have lasted maybe another 30 minutes to an hour."

Image source, Twitter
Image caption,
Mr Smith posted updates on the rescue operation on Twitter

The Smiths' children, Perry John and Catherine, spent much of that night caring for the pig - which they named Wee Wee - in the hotel bathtub.

"Wee Wee is thriving," their mother Elisabeth Smith posted on Facebook, alongside video of the animal feeding.

Image source, Perry Smith
Image caption,
The family put Wee Wee in the hotel bathtub

The family took him to their home in Washington, and have since found a place for him at a local animal sanctuary.

"Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary will be taking little Wee Wee - the pig rescued from the storm - as soon as the roads are clear enough for the family to get here," a spokesman for the sanctuary said.

"We also received 3ft (90cm) of snow in the storm and the County has not yet ploughed our roads, making them impassable.

"We are hoping to get the little piglet tomorrow, Tuesday, roads permitting."

Image source, Perry Smith
Image caption,
Perry John, Elisabeth and Catherine Smith wrapped Wee Wee up warm for journey to their home in Washington