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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 12 December 2002 Issue

Pig due for poke flees to save his bacon
Gerard Seenan
Thursday August 15, 2002
The Guardian

This was one not so little piggy that had no intention of going to market. The big, black boar decided that the fate that befell his mate in the Dunblane abattoir was not for him. As the slaughterman returned from killing his farmyard companion, the pig - a Big Black, 110kg and the height of a large German shepherd dog - struggled free. At about 12.30pm Tuesday, the pig, thought to be aged eight or nine months, began his great escape. Getting out of Duncan Stevenson's abattoir was the first obstacle, after that was the wall. The 1.5 metre brick wall was not going to yield to weight; but the pig had the adrenaline of fear on his side. He ran at it and clambered over the top. At the other side, however, he was far from safe. Behind him were the slaughtermen, in front was the Allan river. The pig decided to swim for it. With his pursuers trapped on the opposite bank, the pig then scrambled up a hill and shot into the undergrowth. The police were called in. "Our first concern was public safety. This was a frightened, and potentially dangerous, animal," said Kevin Findlater, from Central Scotland police. So began a six hour stand-off. But as the police waited for the arrival of two zookeepers armed with tranquilliser guns, disaster struck. A coach pulled up, scaring the pig. Grunting menacingly, he made another break for it. "He comes up to waist height and he came within a few feet of one of the officers, who was quite traumatised by it," said Inspector Findlater. Then he added: "It would make an interesting sick note." Richard Lutwyche, of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, said: "He will be quite happy in the woods, digging up roots and eating brambles and slugs. They are domesticated animals but they can survive in the wild." Should the pig choose to give himself up, however, there is no shortage of candidates willing to offer a safe haven. The actors Jenny Seagrove and Martin Shaw have offered to pay double his market value and give him a home at Hillside animal sanctuary, in Norfolk, where Mr Shaw is a patron. And the campaigners Advocates for Animals - who have named the enterprising pig McQueen, after the actor Steve McQueen and his famous film The Great Escape - are pledging to pay for the boar's transportation costs.


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