Pig found running free in Plymouth woods
POOR Babe – cast out into the cold over Christmas without even a blanket to keep him warm.
Thankfully, a sharp-eyed member of the public spotted the young Kunekune pig snuffling about in Cann Woods.
The quick-thinking rescuer grabbed the stricken animal and handed him to Woodside Animal Sanctuary in Elfordleigh where he is currently the centre of attention.
Charity founder Carole Bowles said it was very fortunate the pig, named Babe by staff, was rescued.
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"If he hadn't been brought in he would've died during the night," she said.
"We think he's about 10 weeks or more. He seems to be coping all right.
"Our guess is he was abandoned, the poor thing.
"I blame the breeders – they breed them and sell them to people who can't cope with the pigs.
"He's been running around, getting a lot of exercise, but we haven't really got room to keep him.
"We can't really put him with the other animals. If a dog was to get him, that'd be it."
The Kunekune pig, pronounced Cooney Cooney, was originally kept by Maoris in New Zealand, although it is not thought they were indigenous to the islands.
The name means fat and round in Maori and the pigs only arrived in Britain in 1992.
After his dramatic rescue on December 23, it is hoped a kind-hearted animal-lover will step in to offer Babe a new home.
"The sooner we rehome him the better, providing the people know what they're taking on," Carole added.
"Ideally, we would want Babe to go to someone who has already got pigs like this.
"Babe has been the fifth pig we've taken in this year.
"We've had three Kunekune pigs and even a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig.
"We will probably keep them because we do worry where they can go."