By Phil Hill and Ed Cullinane via SWNS
A pig named Boris has been saved from the slaughterhouse in a last-minute reprieve - after a group stumped up £500 ($613).
The animal was lined up for a trip to the abbatoir on June 27 after living at Kingsmead School in Wiveliscombe, England for a year.
But, after becoming a much loved figure in the community, a group of 10 animal lovers intervened at the eleventh hour to rescue the pig - each stumping up £50 ($61).
Local resident and animal activist Paul Youd took up the case after he was contacted by the parent of a child at the school.
He said: "Boris is a much loved resident pig at Kingsmead. The children love him and regularly go to pat him.
"They'd have been devastated if anything happened to Boris, which is why we started the campaign to save him.
"What kind of a message would slaughtering Boris have sent to the students? Pigs are sentient and as intelligent as a three-year-old child.
"We simply wanted to allow Boris to leave out his days in peace and harmony."
A campaign saw the school's headteacher bombarded with dozens of emails and phone calls about Boris, to which he eventually relented.
Fellow animal lover Kevin Doherty then rallied the funds needed to buy Boris, who has been taken in by a local couple until a permanent home can be found for him.
"I've been told he can stay there as long as needed," Doherty said.
"It's great if he can be kept locally so that the children who have bonded with him can go along to see him.
"When Paul told me about Boris it really tugged at my heart strings. I'd love to go to Wiveliscombe to meet the fellow. It's like he's won the lottery."
A Kingsmead spokesperson said: "Kingsmead School is aware of the recent interest surrounding the pig we have on site as part of our current agriculture course.
"We can confirm that we have been in discussions with an individual regarding the purchase of our pig at an appropriate market-rate price.
"We are informed that the owner intends to allow the pig to live out its full natural life.
"The proceeds of the sale will be used to support the new animal care and agriculture courses which form an important part of our curriculum provision.
"We will be making no further comment on this matter."
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