'Peppa' pig in Peterborough hog roast stand-off

Peppa the pig Image copyright Hillside Animal Sanctuary
Image caption Peppa the pig has now arrived at his new home at the Frettenham sanctuary

An abandoned pig has been saved from being turned into a hog roast in a dramatic stand-off near Peterborough.

The pig's owner left him in a field near a riding school five weeks ago. The school owner fed and looked after him and then contacted Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk to collect him.

As they were on their way earlier, a hog roast company van turned up and the driver tried to load the pig inside.

After "some negotiation", "Peppa" was saved and taken away to the sanctuary.

Paula Nicholls, who owns the New Range Riding School and Horse Rescue Centre at Eye Green, discovered the black kunekune-type pig abandoned in a locked shed in the field near her school.

Image copyright Paula Nicholls
Image caption Peppa was "destined to be hog roast"
Image copyright Hillside Animal Sanctuary
Image caption The Norfolk sanctuary posted a desperate message on Facebook when it was told about the hog roast van

"Its owners had been renting at a caravan site there, but just left it to starve when they moved out," she said.

'Real panic'

After several weeks trying to contact them, Mrs Nicholls decided to call Hillside Sanctuary in Frettenham.

"We were waiting for them to arrive this morning when the pig's owner turned up with a man in a van that said 'hog roast and pulled pork' on it," Mrs Nicholls said.

"They were trying to round it up into the van. The landowner was great and blocked the gate so they wouldn't be able to get out."

Mrs Nicholls informed the sanctuary who posted a message on Facebook asking people to help in the pig rescue.

Sanctuary founder Wendy Valentine said: "It was a real panic. Our driver was an hour away and the pig was destined to be hog roast."

Despite attempting to negotiate, Mrs Nicholls eventually had to pay £100 for the pig, which she had named Peppa.

Peppa has now been safely delivered to Norfolk, where he will "live out the rest of his days at the sanctuary", Ms Valentine said.

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