For those of you who follow News of St. John on Facebook, you may have read last Friday how we were pretty excited about receiving our 2,703rd “like.” To be honest, we’re excited about each and every like we receive, but this one was different. Why you ask? Because we were “liked” by the island’s most famous pig.
Ziggy Hartness has lived on St. John for the past three years. His “mother” Kristin Hartness decided a few years back that she wanted a pig as a pet, so she went online and found a breeder in Orange Park, Florida. Little Ziggy was only four pounds when Kristin picked him up from the St. Thomas airport. The breeder told her that Ziggy was a “mini teacup” pig and that he would weigh no more than 25 pounds.
Hmmm … I think they were wrong.
“It’s just more to love,” Kristin said with her cute North Carolina accent.
Over the last three years, Ziggy – all 220 pounds of him – has become a local island celebrity. He lives over near Gallows Point with his parents – Kristin Hartness and Jay Yontz – and is a frequent visitor along Cruz Bay beach. You may have seen him pop into the Beach Bar from time to time or perhaps at Deli Grotto where he is treated to a grilled cheese sandwich every weekend. You may have even seen him on Facebook. Ziggy’s a pretty popular pig with more than 1,600 “friends.”
So what’s it like to be the mother of a 220-pound pig?
“He’s perfect,” Kristin said. “He really is. He understands sentences. It’s like talking to a kid. He’s my beautiful, adorable precious little pumpkin.”
And just like many children, Ziggy has been known to thrown a temper tantrum here and there.
“Everyone on the beach can hear him when that happens,” Kristin said. “He’s very emotional.”
Fortunately for Kristin and Jay, Ziggy is house trained. He is very clean and eats two meals a day. His favorites are fish salads with all the toppings, lasagne and fruits and vegetables.
He has a great personality, according to Kristin, and loves all of the attention he gets from locals and tourists.
“He loves people,” she said. “And they just love him. They absolutely love him. They want to get their picture taken with him. Mostly everybody just goes crazy over him.”
So the next time you’re out and about near Cruz Bay beach, give a look around and you might just see Ziggy, the island’s most famous pig.