Tamworth Two become one as Butch passes away

Image caption,
The tale was turned into a comedy-drama called The Legend of the Tamworth Two

A pig that sparked an international media furore when it escaped from a slaughterhouse has died at the age of 13.

In January 1998 the siblings, sow Butch and boar Sundance, broke free from an abattoir in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

Dubbed the Tamworth Two, they spent about a week on the run, mostly hiding in a thicket in the area. They were eventually recaptured.

It has been revealed that Butch died on Friday at an animal centre in Kent.

Soon after the Tamworth-breed porkers were unloaded from the lorry at the abattoir, they made a dash for it.

They captured national headlines, and were named after film outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

They were eventually captured, and bought by the Daily Mail newspaper.

Butch and Sundance were then given a new home at the Rare Breeds Centre in Woodchurch, near Ashford.

Their tale was turned into a comedy-drama called The Legend of the Tamworth Two which was screened on BBC One in 2004.

Davy McColm, the centre's farm manager, said Butch had been put down after a couple of months of illness.

He attributed her death to the natural passage of time.

"Sundance seems to be quite happy with life at the moment...he's got a bit more space in the bed at night," he said.

"He will be missing her. They were litter brother and sister, they've been together all their lives.

"He's an old fellow, he's a little bit arthritic and a bit slower than he used to be - thank goodness - but he's still pottering along."

He said the centre still got phone calls from people asking if the pigs were still there and if they could come and see them.

"Even after all this time they're still in people's minds," he added.

Mr McColm said staff were considering putting up a plaque in Butch's memory.

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