Page last updated at 09:48 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 10:48 UK

Pig football scores hit at centre

Pig football
The pigs know how to get food from the ball during the game

Pigs at a wildlife park in Lincolnshire have been showing four legs are better than two, by taking on the challenge of moving a football around a pitch.

The animals at Woodside Wildlife and Falconry Park, near Langworth show off their skills daily for visitors.

The idea, one step on from the pig racing the park currently offers, is popular with visitors.

Keeper Andrew Reeve said the pigs use a ball that leaks feed as it rolls, encouraging them to push it around.

Mr Reeve said the highly-intelligent animals' matches are getting faster and faster as they learn the best tricks to get their treats.

Special ball

He said: "It was the owner Neil Mumby's idea, we already do pig racing here which is a daily event along with other demonstrations and we wanted to do something new.

"Pig football was something that sprung into Neil's mind.

"Basically we got hold of a special ball that releases feed as it rolls, and with pigs being so intelligent, they soon work out that they have to keep it moving.

"We get a couple of goals and they basically head-butt the ball and manoeuvre it with their snouts."

He said five pigs are involved, and people are picked out of the crowd to help hold the goal posts for the 10-minute match.

"It's very popular, he added. "It's such an unusual thing, and as the pigs are learning more about the ball and the rewards they get, the game is getting faster."

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