Utter swine! Family of four pot-bellied PIGS are on the run from police after vandalising a churchyard

  • The four pigs are at large and causing chaos around Thrybergh, near Rotherham
  • They have evaded police and are digging up grass around graves at local church
  • Primary school next door ‘very worried’ for pupil’s safety due to ‘aggressive’ pigs

A fugitive family of pot-bellied pigs is on the run from the police after vandalising a churchyard.

The four porkers managed to evade two police community support officers who were sent to apprehend them for digging up the grass around gravestones, leaving the grounds of a village church looking like a ploughed field.

The pigs, thought to have escaped from a smallholding nearby, are now at large and causing chaos around Thrybergh, near Rotherham, south Yorkshire.

There have been reports from people tending the graves of loved ones that one of the two adult pigs is aggressive when approached and could deliver a nasty bite.

Four pigs managed to evade two police community support officers who were sent to apprehend them for digging up the grass around gravestones, leaving the grounds of a village church looking like a ploughed field. They are now at large and causing chaos around Thrybergh, near Rotherham, south Yorkshire

Stuart Cheetham (pictured), 72, went to the grave of his wife Pamela in the graveyard at St Gerard’s church in Thrybergh, where fences were put up around the graves to prevent the pigs from causing more chaos in the churchyard. He said: ‘For weeks they have been digging up the ground in the graveyard and causing a real mess’

The animals have also been trying to burrow under the fence of St Gerard’s Catholic Primary School, scaring the kids and sparking fears for pupil safety.

Father Desmond Sexton, of St Gerard’s Church, Thrybergh, said: ‘It’s horrendous, just awful and has gone on for two weeks.

‘People are really worried and upset. One or two people visiting graves have even been scared away by them.

‘People might think it’s funny, but it isn’t and the pigs are causing more and more damage.’

Father Desmond said he felt ‘very sorry’ for visitors to the graveyard and had been in touch with the police and council animal welfare inspectors.

Fences were put up around the graves to prevent the pigs from digging up more ground and causing further chaos. 

Stuart Cheetham, 72, a retired builder, encountered the Thrybergh Four as he visited the grave of his late wife, Pamela.

He said: ‘For weeks they have been digging up the ground in the graveyard and causing a real mess.

Father Desmond Sexton, of St Gerard’s Church, Thrybergh, said: ‘It’s horrendous, just awful and has gone on for two weeks. People are really worried and upset. One or two people visiting graves have even been scared away by them’

‘But more recently they’ve been leaving marks from their trotters all over the graves and the sow is pretty aggressive.

‘She’s clearly pregnant and if anyone goes anywhere near the piglets she comes running forward to make sure no one gets too close.

‘She’s quite a size and my concern is that someone is going to get hurt, especially a child. Kids play in the car park near the church and it would be awful to see a child injured.

‘They normally come out from wherever they go at night around dinner time and have been causing a lot of problems.

‘Everyone is fed up of it and we just want to see something done.’

Charlotte Galloway, 27, of Thrybergh, said: ‘Pigs have been escaping from a particular field for around two years and nothing ever gets done.

‘These four have been out for weeks and we just want the owner to take responsibility before they cause more damage or someone is injured.’

A man visiting his wife’s grave said the animals had also dug up a field close to the church and school.

A man visiting his wife’s grave said the animals had also dug up a field close to the church and school. He said he was concerned about how close the pigs were to the graves and he’d been forced to chase them away

Rotherham councillor Michael Bennett-Sylvester, who represents the village, said: ‘The police are doing their very best but it’s a difficult situation’

The caller told BBC Radio Sheffield he was concerned about how close the pigs were to the graves and he’d been forced to chase them away.

The man said: ‘They come in and turf all the graveyard up foraging for dandelion roots. I just ran at them and they squealed and then they’re off.

‘Nobody wants to take responsibility for them and the sow is pregnant and about to have piglets.’

Bernadette Baxter, the head at St Gerard’s Primary, said the school had ‘growing concerns’ over the pig problem and that pupils were ‘feeling very worried.’

Rotherham councillor Michael Bennett-Sylvester, who represents the village, said: ‘The police were called because they are the only authority we could call on to have responsibility for the matter.

‘Two PCSOs came out to try to detain the pigs but they got away from them. The police are doing their very best but it’s a difficult situation.

‘They have caused considerable damage to the churchyard and there are genuine concerns about the potentially aggressive nature of the adult pigs.

‘Unfortunately no one is taking responsibility for them. They have escaped from somewhere and someone in the area knows exactly where they have come from but no one wants to claim them.

‘So for the moment they are, as far as we know, still roaming around somewhere.’

A baited pig trap has been dug in the hope of catching the runaway family of porkers.

They are thought to have been hiding in woodland on the edge of the village during the night before emerging in search of food during the day.

A 25-yard ditch has been dug – it is not clear whether by the local authority or a member of the public – at the edge of the woods.

On the other side of the ditch carrots and cabbages have been left in the hope the pigs will rush to them and find themselves stuck in the ditch.

One local said: ‘Anything is worth a try at this stage.’

Source: Read Full Article