Tuesday 17 October 2017

Runaway piglet found with alpacas

Al the runaway piglet was found in an alpaca pen (Wheelgate Family Theme Park/PA)
Al the runaway piglet was found in an alpaca pen (Wheelgate Family Theme Park/PA)

Farm rangers have squealed for help after a runaway piglet was discovered seeking shelter in an alpaca pen.

The one-week-old fugitive piglet has been named Al by staff at Wheelgate Family Theme Park in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, who are searching for his home and family.

He was found over the weekend seeking comfort with the park's alpacas and not with the only resident pig, Dave, a male kunekune.

Over the past 24 hours staff have been contacting all local farms and farm parks to try to locate where Al has come from, but so far have had no joy.

A spokeswoman for the park said: "As poor little Al is so young and unsure as to how long he had been outside in the cold for, he has required a lot of TLC, which is usually provided by the mother.

"Wheelgate catering manager Jay Bloomfield took on a surrogacy role last night and took little Al home to keep him warm and provide his bottle-feeds at various intervals throughout the night. It's been a long night but little Al seems to be merrily bouncing around this morning."

Anyone who might be able help is asked to call Wheelgate on 01623 882773.

Al's case may bring back memories of the Tamworth Two - a pair of pigs who escaped while being unloaded from a lorry at an abattoir in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, in January 1998.

Nicknamed Butch and Sundance, the brother and sister were on the run for more than a week and the search for them generated huge public interest and media attention.

The five-month-old pigs spent most of their period of freedom in a dense thicket near Tetbury Hill before being captured and sent to live at the Rare Breeds Centre, an animal sanctuary near Ashford in Kent.

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