Pig on the run finds lust such a boar

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The Independent Online
A plan to charm home an oversexed 200lb wild boar with the aid of an alluring sow, following his escape from a Scottish farm, ended in failure yesterday.

The boar, who can run up to speeds of 35mph, fled his pen earlier this week for the freedom of a local country park. Despite his owners claim that he is a 'gentle' creature, he has already clashed with local dogs, and prompted one local walker to hide up a tree.

When it emerged that the boar, named Punbaa after the character in the Lion King, was in the height of the breeding season, a cunning plan was lodged to coax him home with the use of the sows.

Although it has not worked yet, locals are confident of success.

The police in Dunbar are on standby to alert his owner, a local farmer, as soon as there is another sighting of Punbaa, who is currently roaming around the John Muir Country Park. He will arrive on the scene with a sow in tow.

Sergeant Douglas Ledingham said: We have informed the public that this thing is about and could be dangerous, although his normal reaction if he did see someone would be to hide in the undergrowth and take cover."

He explained that the plan to lure Punbaa home had been confused by the fact that there are a number of pig breeding farms in the area wafting out the mating scent. To the consternation of local farmers, he may seek a mate of his own choosing.

Sergeant Ledingham added: "There is concern he may make his way to one of the local farms, because these are disease free units and they are very carefully controlled.

"If a wild pig comes in there may be concern about the spreading of disease."

Punbaa, who is two years old, was acquired by his owner Gary Bell as part of a plan to set up an animal centre in a local farm.

He was first spotted on the run a nearby estate where he allegedly attacked two dogs.

The park and local areas were closed with road blocks on Thursday to protect locals, and police were on special watch, but Mr Bell insisted that Punbaa's most likely response to company would be to dive for cover. He said: "He's more likely to run away than do anything else. Hiding under the bramble bushes is just the norm for them, so it's very hard to see where they are."

Punbaa is light brown in colour, and has no tusks, although one local who came across him in the woods and claimed he was so terrified he fled up the nearest tree. He described him as a ''mighty black hairy thing''. The police reoponed the park yesterday.

David Aaronovitch, page 16

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