Wild Times Archive

Hello! My name is Hamlet

I was hand-picked from a litter of Juliana pigs along with my sister Ophelia, to reside in the Edmonton Valley Zoo’s interactive Urban Farm. Juliana pigs have been specifically bred to interact with humans so we have very pleasing temperaments. We arrived December 15, 2018 and spent one month in quarantine where our lovely and attentive caretaker Delia fed us, socialized us, and showered us lavish attention along with plenty of belly rubs and back scratches. I’m one lucky swine!

You smart folks may have guessed that I’m named after Shakespeare’s famous Prince of Denmark, Hamlet. Scholars have said that Hamlet is the “greatest dramatic character” ever created. So, when Delia calls me curious, pushy, demanding, and very sure of myself, you’ve gotta know I’m all that and more! I am also regarded as a happy, joyful, friendly pig who expresses himself with a repertoire of vocalizations ranging from grunts and squeals to oinks, groans, and happy snorts. Like a warrior, I am bold and fearless. I AM HAMLET, PRINCE OF THE URBAN FARM!

Juliana pigs, also known as miniature painted pigs, are small and colourfully-spotted with long, pink-tipped snouts. You can spot me in a crowd as my left ear is black.

Free Beauty Tip: Udderly Smooth body cream keeps my skin baby soft.

F-O-O-D! All food. Any type of food. Veggies. Fruit. Grains. We have a delicious, all natural treat made from chopped pumpkin seeds designed especially for tiny swine. Now, you may think me rude when I push Ophelia out of the way at feeding time so I can barge in first. Quite the contrary, I am looking out for her dainty figure. A Wiggly Piggly is eye candy, a Jiggly Piggly, not so much. You’re welcome Ophelia, you shall remain svelte as long as I rule.

Balls! I push them around with my handsome, flat snout. I also like to engage with a kong filled with treats. And, freshly popped popcorn is the BEST. I will follow a trail of popcorn anywhere. I have also experimented with skateboarding. I quite enjoy being pushed along, it’s a befitting mode of transportation to travel around my kingdom.

Oh, my heart skips a beat when my keeper grabs a toy and plays with me. We interact together and it’s very stimulating for the mind and body. I also like to run around. We recently had a dozen kids from the 100 Voices pre-kindergarten program visit. I offered a personalized greeting to each and every child. I believe that building authentic relationships will make our world better and kinder for all.

Every time is my best time: feeding, play, training, massage, and napping are all good. To prepare for a massage, I flop over on my side and sigh deeply as my keeper rubs me down. I recognize all of my keepers by sight and their voices, and greet each with enthusiasm. Another treasured time of day is straw bed making. I carry straw in my mouth to a desired spot, drop it, and circle until it’s just right. Then, I dive in for a pleasing snooze.

I love walking the grounds on a harness with one of my zoo servants. The crowds part in awe and let out delightful shrieks when they lay eyes on me. It’s no secret, I am truly adored. Let it be known, that I know my name when I’m called, can spin a circle, and sit for treats. I am a very special oinker.

Delia, puh-leeze don’t call me “my little piggie” in front of my subjects, it’s not a moniker befitting for  the Prince of the Urban Farm. Also, I am fed up with humans thinking we are dirty. Untrue, we are actually neat freaks. Pigs don’t sweat, so apart from a good mud wallow once in awhile to cool our skin, we prefer to be squeaky clean.


I cordially invite you to drop by anytime to see my sister Ophelia and I.  Parting is such sweet sorrow but I shall leave you with one of my favourite quotes: 

I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”

Winston S. Churchill

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