One thousand pigs survive barn roof collapse

Winter should not come as a surprise in Sweden. But it did – after many mild seasons.

And it wasn’t enough that human beings had to brave transport delays, icy highways and collapsed roofs. The fact is: even pigs suffered.

Around 1,000 pigs survived on a farm in Brålanda in western Sweden on Saturday after a barn roof collapsed because of the heavy snow load.

The animals evidently all managed very well because they were sensible enough to scramble into pens protected by steel girders. “We haven’t found any fatalities so far,” Esse Österman, head of the rescue operation, told news agency TT.

He said that volunteers then transported the pigs into protected and warm facilities. “They’re very sensitive when it comes to cold weather…and all has gone well at this point.”

Pigs are not the only animals that have faced hazards during the deep freeze. Wildlife such as reindeer, distressed by huge snow drifts, have ventured onto Swedish highways, and at their peril. Reindeer fatalities are not immediately available.

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Swede’s surprise fika thief: this very cheeky little fox

You know when you're enjoying a fika at your Swedish summer house and then suddenly a fox walks up to you and rudely finishes all your coffee?

Swede's surprise fika thief: this very cheeky little fox
The Swedish fika fox. Photo: Viktor Risling

That's what happened to Viktor Risling in Grötlingbo on the island of Gotland.

“At first I thought there was something yellow walking towards me. I looked up and saw it was a fox. It came very close. I put my hand towards it and it smelled my hand. After that it smelled my coffee,” he told The Local on Tuesday.

“Then it drank the coffee right beside me. It was very nice to be so close to nature.”

Risling snapped a series of pictures of his unexpected fika companion and posted them on social media. They quickly went viral after the Dagens Nyheter newspaper first picked up the strange story.

But the guest's table manners left something to be desired when he knocked the cup over to drink.

“The fox enjoyed the coffee a lot. It's a wild animal so it can't behave properly. But it will learn, we are working on it,” laughed Risling.

The daring animal missed out on the standard Swedish cinnamon roll with his coffee, but Risling revealed that he did still get a special treat.

“It came back today, and I gave it some turkey. It enjoyed it. I got a friend now.”

Interview by The Local's intern Saina Behnejad.