A couple who bought a trendy micro pig as a pet have been left stunned after the supposedly pint-sized porker grew to a whopping 25 stone and took over their terraced home.
Just 19 months ago ‘Babe’ was irresistibly cute and so small all four of her tiny trotters would fit in a tea cup.
Colin Webb took one look at the nine ounce pink bundle he’d found for sale on the internet and cheerfully handed over £250 to buy her as a gift for his wife Susie.
But while the miniature pigs owned by the likes of Paris Hilton and Victoria Beckham grew to around four and a half stone and 14 inches tall – then stopped - the Webbs’ pet had other ideas.
Babe’s already a three foot, 25 stone monster and is getting bigger every week on a diet of pig pellets, bananas, strawberries and a daily dose of cod liver oil to keep her joints supple.
She is now so large she cannot even fit into the kitchen in the Webbs’ three-bedroom terraced home. She used to snooze at the bottom of their bed each night, but can no longer make it up the stairs.
So now she sleeps in the living room on their sofa – which Colin has had to have specially re-enforced with chipboard to take her weight.
And any hope the Webbs once had of getting Babe to trim down a touch with a bit of exercise have long gone.
‘She just won’t leave the house any longer,’ said Colin.
‘I used to take her for walks on a lead, I got a special licence from Defra to do that, but she’s not having that anymore. She flatly refuses to put a trotter past the front step.
‘There’s nothing I can do. You can’t pull a 25 stone pig somewhere it doesn’t want to go. She spends all day in the living room now in front of the telly. I used to be able to hold her in the palm of my hand.’
But bizarrely, the Webbs are delighted to share their small home with their ever larger pet pig.
‘She’s easier to look after than any man,’ said Susie, 53, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire.
‘She never makes a mess when she goes to the toilet, she never complains about her food and she doesn’t snore when she’s asleep.’
Former maintenance engineer Colin, 57, added: ‘When she started growing I got in touch with the farmer down in Lincolnshire I bought her off. I thought maybe there had been a mistake and ‘Babe’ wasn’t a micro pig.
‘But I’ve contacted other people who got pigs from the same litter and they all stayed small.
‘I don’t know what’s happened with ours, maybe we overfed her a bit, but she’s one heck of a size now.
‘She’s a cross between a Miniature Pot Bellied pig and a Gloucester Old Spot. There might be a bit of Kune Kune in there too.
‘People have said I should get her to a slaughter house and live on bacon for a year, but I could never do that, Babe is one of the family now. I’ve got a grown up son and daughter, but they don’t live with us.
‘Babe’s no bother to have around really. She grunts when she needs the toilet and uses a potty.
‘My wife is hard of hearing and Babe comes into her own whenever there’s a knock on the front door, she starts sort of barking to let Susie know someone’s there.
‘The only time she’s done any damage, like tear a hole in the carpet or bite a bit of stuffing out of an armchair is if we’ve had to leave her alone for a few hours.
‘She’s very intelligent and she absolutely loves getting her belly tickled. She’d never bite anyone, she’s as daft as a brush.’
The Webbs now face many more years sharing their home with Babe. Micro pigs typically live for up to 18 years.