Pigs Rescued From Lab Feel Sunlight For The Very First Time
At first, they didn't know what to do - they huddled in their carriers, divided from each other, the way the were used to being kept in the lab, the only place they'd ever known.
In what's being called the largest rescue of pigs from a laboratory to date, 31 pigs were rescued from a biomedical lab in San Francisco, which was planning on having them killed after they were done with them.
Slowly, freedom became real, and they emerged from their crates, breathing the outside air and seeing the daylight for the very first time in their lives.
"Watching each little pig step out of a crate and onto soft ground for the first time in their life was magnificent and gut-wrenching at the same time," Gina Lynn, founder of New Life Animal Sanctuary, told The Dodo. "They were scared, they didn't understand what was going on and some took longer than others. But once they figured it out, they came to life in the most profoundly beautiful way. My heart is filled with joy knowing that they will never be poked, prodded, or live in fear again!"
You can already see the curiosity and love of these animals, bathed in sunlight for the first time.
Gottingens mini-pigs are bred specifically for research to mature faster and to be more handleable due to their size. They are commonly used for skin toxicology, surgical practice and cardiovascular research. Like full size pigs, they are very social and highly intelligent.
For some of the pigs, the marks of their former life can clearly be seen. Hayden bears blisters and skin lacerations from his time in the lab.