October 26, 2023
A 200-pound pet pig from Gettysburg, aptly named after actor Kevin Bacon, has led his owners and neighbors on a comical chase for nearly two weeks since he escaped from his barn. And he's developing a national following for his hijinks while evading capture.
Chelsea Rumbaugh and her family adopted the 2-year-old spotted Juliana pig on Oct. 13. They hoped to give him a new home in a pen with a few piglets and a duck to keep him company.
But the morning after the Rumbaughs brought Kevin home, they discovered that he'd knocked over a post in their barn and had gone missing — sort of.
Instead of properly running away, Kevin Bacon has alternated between hiding in the woods around the family's property and returning periodically during the day to eat and do his business. Despite Kevin sometimes getting into close range, the family has struggled to chase down the gigantic pig and make him cooperate enough to enter an enclosure.
As soon as Rumbaugh realized she was in for an adventure, she decided to make a Facebook page for Kevin in order to let the community know about the situation and deter hunters from shooting the pig.
Rumbaugh's "Bring Kevin Bacon Home" page has amassed 1,500 followers since it was created. The page hilariously keeps track of Kevin Bacon sightings, with updates on various traps and failed strategies to capture him thus far. It's got videos, maps of Kevin's travels and links to all of the media attention the pig has gotten this month, including an article on People magazine's website.
"While it would be great if #GettysburgKevin could be a free roaming pig, that’s just not safe for a variety of reasons," Rumbaugh explained on the Facebook page. "Black bears, pew pews, and honestly our surrounding neighbors just didn’t ask for a pet pig."
Rumbaugh said she bought Kevin from another owner who wanted to rehome him, in part, because he kept running away. Rumbaugh decided to take Kevin in and surround him with a family of piglets she already had at home. The first sign of trouble was that she had a hard time even getting Kevin into her car, but she felt much better when her initial introduction with the piglets went over well on Kevin's first day. Then the mayhem started.
Since his escape on Oct. 14, Rumbaugh has been trying to entice Kevin into a special pen that the family has built for him. On Wednesday afternoon, she shared a video of Kevin paying his fourth visit of the day and getting close enough to be pet through a fence. Kevin is clearly warming up to her, but he hasn't been willing to enter his pen.
"I was really close once and I spooked him," Rumbaugh said in the caption of a Facebook Reel. "I feel awful about it because we’ve made such progress with him feeling safe here."
Rumbaugh's neighbors have been helping her keep eyes on Kevin's whereabouts and devise plans to corral him, whether by trap or lure. But Rumbaugh warned her neighbors that if Kevin doesn't submit willingly, he's going to make a scene.
"If we capture him, his squeals will be loud, I’m sorry but it’s the truth," Rumbaugh wrote on Facebook. "He’s also a known drama king clearly so the squeals will be ear piercing."
Fans of the Facebook page have made T-shirts for Gettysburg Kevin to help the Rumbaugh family cover some of the costs of capturing him and building him a spacious new home. Commenters also have had a blast with Rumbaugh's posts.
Last Saturday morning, Kevin was spotted on the family's property for one of his routine breakfast visits. Rumbaugh has been leaving him "a delicious variety of things that he loves," but Kevin tends to scamper into the woods when he knows he's been spotted.
"Just being a butthead at this point," one commenter wrote in response to Saturday's video of Kevin running away.
Local newspapers in and around Gettysburg have gone heavy on the "Footloose" references to human Kevin Bacon. The actor and musician is a Philly native, and apparently he has an affinity for pigs. The actor lives on a farm in Connecticut with his wife, actress Kyra Sedgewick, and the pair regularly posts videos with their barnyard animals. Bacon (the person) recently posted a clip on X, formerly Twitter, of him making a drumbeat on a pig's stomach.
I collaborated with Johnny on this piece called “Pig Belly.” pic.twitter.com/K22XhDQXe7— Kevin Bacon (@kevinbacon) October 19, 2023
Bacon hasn't yet commented publicly on his namesake in Gettysburg, but this whole situation seems like it would be up his alley, if he were to become aware of it. What the world today really needs is actor Kevin Bacon to visit pig Kevin Bacon in Gettysburg, tap out a rhythm on his belly and sing the song of this wild life on the run.