The two runaway Ginger Tamworth boars are still on the run after six days. But while they trot around somewhere in Wiltshire, the news on their pal, a third boar transported with them who did not get away, was not so good.
On the two pigs' sixth day of freedom, a spokesman for Newman's Slaughterhouse, in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, said yesterday: "The third member of the group was processed in the usual way."
Meanwhile, animal sanctuaries across the country were volunteering their services for the surviving five-month-old boars.
Geoff Francis, from Hillside animal sanctuary near King's Lynn, Norfolk, said he would willingly give the heroic boars a home for life. "We would love to have this pair. We already have a refugee from the slaughterhouse, a bullock we called Braveheart, who swam a river to escape - just like the pigs.
"We have been inundated with calls from people asking us to save them, some have offered money to help us.
"It is amazing how fugitives like these two catch people's imaginations".
Indeed, it looks as if they will be able to take their pick of retirement homes.
At the PALS sanctuary near Salisbury, Wiltshire, staff said they hoped to have the pigs "safe and well" with them.
Even one of the policemen whose duty is to apprehend the runaways is rooting for a happy ending.
PC Phil Snow, who admits to eating meat only occasionally, and then never pork, said everyone was behind the pair. "Most people wish them the best of luck. If I see them again hopefully it will be in circumstances where I can wave them goodbye and wish them a happy future," he said.
Several national newspapers were bidding to buy the pigs and find them a home yesterday - if only the duo would give themselves up - and a mystery celebrity's representative was also rumoured to be trying to purchase them, offering "silly money" to secure their future.
The two pigs slipped through the hands of abattoir workers last Thursday. They ran round the abattoir yard before forcing their way through a hole in the fence and racing off through the streets of Malmesbury, only to be confronted by the river Avon. Undaunted, they dived in and swam for the other side.
After splashing their way 15 feet to the far bank the pigsmade the most of their freedom in local gardens and showed a startling turn of speed if they were approached.
What the pigs' final fate will be, nobody quite knows. The ultimate say will be down to their owner, Arnaldo Dijulio, a council road sweeper who reared them on his smallholding. He said he had bred them for slaughter (they are each worth pounds 40) and was not prepared to discuss their future.
The Ballad of
the Tamworth Pigs
We asked our house poet Martin Newell to muse on the subject Two Tamworth pigs en route one day
From piggery to table
Both saw the hand of chance held out
And grabbed while they were able
"O not for us the butcher's knife
And not for us the stun-gun
For by the time the week is out
They'll know of us in London"
Out of the trailer, through a gap
To run where it might lead them
Since rasher moves are what succeed
Along the road to freedom
Now Tamworth pigs are ginger pigs
Resourceful, quick and gritty
And make up in athletics
What they miss in being pretty
For having gained some distance
From the slaughterhouse's thugs
They swam the River Avon
Like a chinese team on drugs
They foraged in some woodland
In a Malmesbury environ
Their trademark Tamworth trotter prints
Proclaimed these Pigs of Iron
And they became the heroes
Of a sentimental nation
As the Cassidy and Sundance
Of a porcine situation.Reuse content