A PAIR of pigs had a brush with freedom as they escaped the boar-dom of their allotment.
The small black pigs sparked a search after they were spotted roaming the streets of Dawdon and Seaham after fleeing from their plot – with one still on the loose.
One of the pets was found after it ran out in front of a police van and then cornered as it munched on food from a bin in the back lane of Fox Street.
Officers, with the help of council street wardens and residents who had joined in the search, managed to get it into a back yard, where Shereen Temple then led it to her patch at Hill Crescent allotment.
It is believed their sty is in another area of the compound.
While that rescue was underway, police were then called about a second pig which had been spotted trotting through the town.
It was seen in Strangford Road, near to the recycling centre, after it narrowly missed being run over when it ran out in front of a car, and was found in Mount Stewart Street in Dawdon the following morning.
Neighbours managed to get it into a gated yard before it was taken to the allotments, but later escaped again.
As of late yesterday, it remained missing, with Seaham Neighbourhood Policing Team using Facebook and Twitter to keep people up-to-date and appeal for help.
The missing pet promoted a host of humorous quips from online posters, including one who asked whether the pigs were from Porkside, a pun on the name of the town’s Parkside estate.
Police believe they know who the animals belong to and are making efforts to contact him and confirm he is the rightful owner so they can be returned.
Sergeant Jim Peel, who leads the policing team, said his officers and their helpers had done a “crackling job” to capture the first animal.
He said: “They chased it into a back yard before it was collected.
“There is a funny side to this, but we would like to thank the public for their help because we need to avoid any accidents.”
The drama began at around 6pm on Wednesday, with the first pig found returned to the allotments at 11pm, with the second spotted and first captured at 8.50am the next day before it made its second bid for freedom.
The search has sparked comparisons to the adventures of the Tamworth Two in 1998, when two pigs ran off as they were prepared to meet their end at an abattoir.
The story of the two, named Butch and Sundance, was later turned into an hour-long BBC drama.
County Chief Reporter