Pregnant pig escapes farm and gives birth in woods


An animal charity is hoping to rescue a pig which escaped from a farm and gave birth to a litter of piglets in woodland.

A dog walker was surprised to discover the pig feeding her piglets as she walked through woods near Ollerton in Nottinghamshire.

Brinsley Animal Rescue said it hoped to rehome the piglets and their mother, whom they have named Matilda.

They are appealing for the farmer to get in touch.

image captionMatilda is thought to have escaped from a farm while pregnant

Anna Aston, the dog walker who found Matilda, said she was confused when she first came across the pigs in the woods on Monday.

“I knew they weren’t wild boar; they just looked like ordinary pigs,” she said.

“I was thinking, ‘This isn’t right’. You just don’t get them in a wood.”

She contacted Brinsley Animal Rescue, which offered to help and has found a prospective home for the pigs at a Midlands animal sanctuary.

“Wherever she has come from, she deserves a safe and happy life with her little family,” said Mrs Aston.

“I think she has earned her freedom now.”

Jon Beresford, who runs the charity, said he would need permission from the farmer to remove the pig or it could be regarded as theft.

He believes she has 10 piglets and has dubbed the family the “Ollerton 11” after the Tamworth Two – a pair of pigs that escaped while being unloaded from a lorry at an abattoir.

‘Incredibly intuitive’

He believes Matilda escaped to protect her piglets.

“It’s almost like her maternal instincts are like ‘I want to get out of here and have my babies’ and she has broken out,” he said.

image captionMatilda has been feeding her piglets

The charity has set up a petition to support the rescue.

Louise Smith, a volunteer for the charity, has been to check on the pigs and feed the mother.

“She has a ring through her nose which meant she was unable to forage for food herself,” said Miss Smith.

“We left food for her to eat but she only seemed interested in caring for her young.

“We are really hopeful the farmer allows us to commence the rescue and get Matilda and her family to a sanctuary where they can live out the rest of their natural lives.”

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