Brave mother and her piglets saved from slaughter by Brinsley charity
Animal rescuers in Brinsley are rejoicing after saving the bacon of a mother pig who escaped a farm to give birth to piglets.
Despite being heavily pregnant, the determined sow managed to evade slaughter by burrowing under the electric fencing that had surrounded her pen last month.
A dog walker later discovered the pig feeding her babies, who were estimated to be around three-weeks-old at the time, in a wooded area near Ollerton and contacted Brinsley Animal Rescue to help.
The charity, which named the pig Matilda, requested to take the pigs to safety rather than returning them to the farm where they would be slaughtered.
Volunteers gave food and water to the pigs while their fate was decided.
Jon Beresford, founder of Brinsley Animal Rescue, insisted pigs were more intelligent than dogs and believes proud mother Matilda escaped to protect her unborn piglets.
"Matilda's maternal instinct drove her to escape from a commercial farm," he said.
"She took herself off into the woods to give birth and keep herself and her babies safe. Pigs are incredibly intelligent creatures and they have a huge maternal drive."
After farm workers came and took the pig family back for slaughter, Brinsley Animal Rescue launched an urgent petition to help save the animals – which was signed by more than 5,000 people within a day.
Thankfully, due to public uproar and the prospect of a mass demonstration, the charity was soon granted permission by the farm to rescue the pigs.
The animal rescue posted on Instagram to thank the public for their support.
It added: “We cannot tell you how emotional we all feel. Thank you so, so much everybody for helping us to do this.
"We also thank the farm for allowing us to rescue this courageous girl and her beautiful babies.
"I think Matilda herself wants to say a big, big thank you, too.”
Brinsley Animal Rescue has since found a permanent home for Matilda and family at Surge, another nearby animal rescue sanctuary.
Volunteers are taking good care of the pigs in the meantime and asking the public for donations to help contribute to their upkeep.
Rescuer Jon added: “The response to this story of her rescue has simply been outstanding.
“During the next few weeks at Brinsley, we will continue to socially interact with Matilda and her babies to continue to gain their confidence and trust and oversee their welfare.
"Matilda will rear her piglets naturally and when they are all fit and independent, we'll be seeking life-long homes for them.”
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