Woman Watching Pig Livestream Online Alerts New York Farmer to Fire, Saves Pregnant Pig's Life

They say cats have nine lives, but one pregnant pig certainly has at least two after a woman nearly 100 miles away watched a near-tragedy unfold on a YouTube livestream — and stopped it with her quick thinking.

Laura Palladino was home on a Friday night earlier this month, and decided to watch something while she relaxed. Instead of opting for the latest Netflix or Hulu series, Palladino chose a quiet, calm livestream of Ethel the pregnant pig at June Farms in West Sand Lake, New York, CBS Sunday Morning reported.

Palladino had visited Ethel and her fellow pig Lucy at the farm a few weeks earlier, and was checking in on the livestream to see if Ethel had given birth yet, according to CBS affiliate WKBN.

"It’s the least stressful [thing on the internet]," she told CBS.

But as Palladino watched, her stress-free viewing soon turned into something out of a horror movie as Ethel knocked over a heat lamp and buried it in straw, sending the barn up in flames.

"I started freaking out. I was the only one watching, which is what made my heart sink. There was nothing I could do and it was terrifying," she said.

Palladino quickly picked up the phone to call June Farms, but no one answered, so she also called the police, the local fire department, and Matt Baumgartner, the farm’s owner, June Farms said in a Facebook post.

Eventually, her doggedness paid off, and she got through to someone at the farm, alerting them that disaster was brewing.

"They busted in," she told CBS. "I started crying – like, this is just a lot. And he was holding her and he’s like, 'I’m so sorry.' You could tell how much he loved those animals. I was like 'Oh!'"

Farm manager Josh Vics told the outlet that he’s cared for Ethel since she was a piglet, and felt inspired knowing that others "feel as much affection and love toward these animals as we do."

"I don’t like to think about how bad it could have been if she didn’t say something," he told WKBN.

Palladino returned to June Farms this week to say hi to Lucy and Ethel, and learned that she’d be leaving a very special legacy — the first pig in Ethel’s litter will be named Laura.

"I never thought I’d have a pig named after me, but I’ll take it," she told CBS.

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