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From pigs to gators, Florida deputy rescues critters

Lee County sergeant has a knack for helping animals get back to their pack.
In this 2018 photo provided by the Lee County Sheriff's Office, Sgt. Dave Drum was called about a "very large pig rooting around" in East Manor Mobile Home Park in North Fort Myers.
In this 2018 photo provided by the Lee County Sheriff's Office, Sgt. Dave Drum was called about a "very large pig rooting around" in East Manor Mobile Home Park in North Fort Myers. [ AP ]
Published Nov. 14

FORT MYERS — Could the Lee County Sheriff’s Office have its very own Deputy Doolittle?

Sgt. Dave Drum, the Sheriff’s Office’s unofficial animal whisperer, once again came to the rescue of one of Southwest Florida’s animal residents Saturday.

Drum was on Pine Island when he came across and helped corral a lost hog.

Drum is no stranger to pig recovery.

In 2018, a hog got loose in Lehigh Acres, and Drum came to the rescue after the Sheriff’s Office was called about a “very large pig rooting around” in East Manor Mobile Home Park in North Fort Myers.

Drum lassoed the gargantuan hog and turned it over to the Sheriff’s Office Agriculture Unit. That pig, and several other lost hogs, were eventually auctioned off when no owners came forward.

Pork on the hoof isn’t Drum’s only animal connection.

In December 2020, Drum saved another Lee County animal in distress. After noticing a duckling fall into a storm drain, Drum jumped in and saved the duckling and returned it to its family.

Drum’s animal exploits were a little more on the wild and possibly dangerous side in September 2018.

He and several other Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the Burger King parking lot in Lehigh Acres about an alligator in the parking lot.

The alligator was safely detained by the deputies. To to keep it and everyone else safe, and at the request of the Florida Wildlife Commission, Drum and the deputies released the near-3-foot critter back into the canal.

- By Michael Braun, Fort Myers News-Press