Dora Wei and Nuwan Hemachandraand, jewelers, returned from a camping trip in September 2020 to find an unexpected delivery on their porch.
Their gardener had discovered a small, shivering young boar, barely larger than a piece of bread, stashed in a box outside their home in Kandy, Sri Lanka’s forest.
They Googled ‘how to raise a wild boar’ after believing the piglet had been taken from her mother and was just a few hours old and started to work on the intensive regimen of warm baths and hourly feeding required to keep the young hog they called Yezhu alive. Dora credits their three-year-old Labrador rescue Biu Biu for bonding with Yezhu and teaching her to eat, walk, and play. ‘Yezhu thinks she’s a dog because of her amazing upbringing,’ she explained.
‘And, despite being double her weight, she still thinks Biu Biu is her mother.’ Dora, who is originally from Guangzhou, China, and Nuwan initially mistook Yezhu for a newborn deer.
‘It was my first time seeing a wild boar. ‘At first, I assumed she was a deer, but then I double-checked the nose and realized what she was,’ said Dora, Nuwan’s four-year companion.
‘I was astounded. I had no idea what to do. We weren’t sure if we should retain her or not. But she was powerless and in tears.
‘It was a matter of life and de.ath.’ She would most likely di.e if we did not keep her.
‘Taking care of her comes from the bottom of my heart. We couldn’t let her .d.i.e since she was a living being.
‘We accept any creatures that come into our house.’
‘When we saw Yezhu, our hearts absolutely melted. We wanted her to stay that small forever because she was so tiny.’ Dora attempted phoning a friend who worked with animal conservationists after finding Yezhu, but was told that no zoos or res.cue centers would take the young pig.
So the pair welcomed the lovely sow into their family, which already included two Basset hounds, Benjamin, eight, and Ginger, five, as well as their cocker spaniel, Coco, three, and Biu Biu. ‘Thankfully, because of the epidemic, we had a lot of free time, and we knew we couldn’t just leave her as she would di.e,’ Dora explained.
‘We looked online and quickly discovered that caring for a baby is difficult since they may not have received their mother’s milk.’
‘She cried out for food every two hours.’
We needed to keep her warm, so we changed out a warm water bottle every hour and kept it next to her.’
Yezhu’s survival hinged on those first few weeks.
‘We took turns sleeping with her in the living room since we had to feed her every two hours,’ she explained.
‘I’d wind up on the sofa with her during the day.’ It was quite difficult for the first several weeks since we could not get enough sleep.
‘We believed she wouldn’t make it. She was quite ill.’
Yezhu recovered quickly after being fed a milk formula and given a little resting place in their living room. She quickly became attached to Biu Biu and would continually try to fit into her mouth and climb on top of her – something she still does even though she’s a lot bigger now than she was as a baby.
‘We had another dog with Yezhu,’ Dora explained. She was acting just like the dogs. She strolled beside them and played with them.
‘She’s usually rushing around with them, wanting to be with them.’
‘Within 30 minutes of releasing Yezhu out of the cage, she was climbing into Biu Biu’s mouth. It was hilarious.
‘They are now utterly intertwined. They collaborate on everything.’ Biu Biu and Yezhu now swim and stroll together every day, and they even eat the same dish. They really like taking naps together.
‘We didn’t even need to train Yezhu; she just followed the dogs, so they trained her,’ Dora explained.
‘She followed them while they ate. She just accompanied them on walks or to the bathroom.
‘Wild boars are exceptionally clean creatures, therefore she has always been really well-behaved,’ says the owner.
Dora and Nuwan decided to create a miniature duplicate of their home in their yard for Yezhu in March 2021, complete with a little pool for her to cool down in.
She still loves to run about the house, where she eagerly awaits pats and belly rubs. Nuwan, who has now returned to work, stated that Yezhu’s surprise presence on their doorstep was the nicest gift anybody could have received.
‘It’s been quite wonderful,’ he continued. We adore animals, and Yezhu was like another member of our family to us. The fact that the animals are all like one other and spend so much time together is quite remarkable.
‘Yezhu has slept on Biu Biu since the beginning.’
Even now, she is unaware of how much she has grown, so she continues to sit on Biu Biu.
‘It’s just a method of expressing affection.’
‘We’re thankful she was left in a box with us.’