A FIVE-month-old piglet has been rescued by an animal sanctuary near Kidderminster after her mum and siblings were shot by hunters believing them to be wild boar.

According to Goodheart Animal Sanctuary, it became known that someone had abandoned a mother pig and her group of piglets in a woodland near Whitney-on-Wye in Herefordshire last December.

They said after a rumour circulated that they were wild boar, a group of people turned up with guns and quad bikes and the mother pig and all but one of her babies were shot.

One piglet managed to escape and was found by resident Ilisa Meadows, who managed to lead the piglet to safety before reaching out to the animal sanctuary, based at Nickless Farm in Milson. Ilisa felt that she had to find the piglet help quickly in case it was hunted.

She said: “There wasn’t much time as too many people knew she was there. They heard about her in pubs up in the Radnor Hills and even as far as Builth Wells.”

The piglet, which has been named Betty, quickly won the hearts of the rest of the village, who all rallied around to find her a safe home.

The sanctuary claims that one elderly resident even tried to stop the hunters from killing the mother pig and her piglets and was left traumatised when they were shot in front of her.

Until she could arrange a home for her, Ilisa looked after Betty, who would eat apples from her hand and even come running to her when called.

In January, Betty the piglet was brought to her new home at the sanctuary. 

Goodheart’s project director Alison Hood said: “We’re proud to be part of such an inspiring rescue operation and want to thank Ilisa and her neighbours for all their efforts in saving Betty.

"We can’t imagine the fear this little piglet has experienced at just a few months old, but we’re happy in the knowledge that she can live out the rest of her life in safety at our sanctuary and become an ambassador for her species”.