Samaritan-Pigman seeks to rid Latvian forests of trash
A legend on the trot, Mr. Pigman is the long-awaited answer to the Latvian State Forest's problem of illegal waste disposal.
“Just look at this mess! Scoundrels! How could they litter like this?” Mr. Pigman asks, pointing to mounds of trash sprawled across the side of the road.
This snout-donning, snuffling super-swine spends his days charging around Latvia, trying to clean up the woods and make the littering culprits squeal for mercy. There is even a legend to accompany him.
“If you litter in the forest you will turn into a pig,” Mr. Pigman’s secretary, Ginta Bormane, warned.
And this may be more than a bluff, as Mr. Pigman is not all “oink.”
“Once a forest warden called us and said he'd found the remains of a car,” Mr. Pigman recalled. “By the serial number we managed to find the owner and fined him – 200 lats [US $400]”
When Mr. Pigman started his work six years ago, Latvia's forests had become a pig sty, rife with areas that looked more like garbage dumps.
Since then, the Pig has saved their bacon. Mr. Pigman, who like all superheroes refuses to reveal his true identity, works with police, educates school children, lobbies parliament and keeps on the hoof, rooting out those who litter and raising public awareness.
In fact, he has become quite a Latvian celebrity.
“The world has four superheroes: Superman, Batman, Spiderman and the Latvian Tsukmans – Pigman,” he says.
But with this grand Duke-of-Pork achieving such success, one may wonder if this means there might be no more rubbish in Latvian forests. Mr. Pigman claims this is his promise.
“Pigman will work until the last plastic bag or last bottle is gone from the forest,” said his secretary.