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Flying pigs swim to save their bacon

Police were last night stepping up the hunt two pigs which escaped from an abattoir minutes before they were due to be slaughtered. Five days after their getaway, which wriggling through a hole in the fence and fording a fast flowing river, the two Ginger Tamworths were still at large.

A police spokesman admitted yesterday that their hunt for the porcine fugitives was being hampered by their natural cunning - as well as an impressive turn of speed whenever their captors got too close.

"These were two porkers who were determined not to end up as breakfast bacon and they pulled off a great escape."

The break for freedom began when three five-month-old pigs went to market at Malmesbury, Wiltshire. One met his fate, but the other two wriggled free, leading their captors on a 10-minute chase around the slaughterhouse.

As they headed towards the river, the men from the abattoir smiled grimly, knowing there was no way across the river, but their smiles turned to astonishment as the desperate pigs leapt into the River Avon and struck out for the other side - their snouts sticking defiantly above the water.