This one’s almost, but not quite beyond belief. It’s even on the BBC so it must be true, mustn’t it?
Professional adventurer Colonel John Blashford-Snell, founder of Raleigh International, for some reason took it into his head to take an expedition of the Scientific Exploration Society to Bolivia to investigate a shallow crater about five miles in width. The expedition geologists are “95% certain that the crater is that of a large meteorite” which struck the Bolivian Amazon Basin up to 30,000 years ago. But that was nothing compared to his rediscovery of the once-mythical Double-nosed Andean Tiger Hound. First reported in 1913, the dog is thought to be descended from another double-nosed breed of dog in Spain called the ‘Panchon Navarro‘. So that’s quite a story. Perhaps its gilding the lily to add that Blashford-Snell’s expedition carried with it a church organ as a gift to local Bolivians, and included an organist and other musicians who taught the locals to play it. The organ — donated by St James’ church in Milton Abbas, Dorset — was transported by lorry 120 miles over the Andes to the Beni river then loaded on to a boat for a 430-mile onward journey.
The Ranger has long enjoyed visiting the New Forest. As animals are not enclosed in the Forest, visitors get a chance – rare in today’s world – to get right up close to grazing stock. Apart from the famous ponies, one of the most entertaining aspects of visiting the Forest is the autumnal encounters with pigs in the more wooded areas. It’s been the custom for centuries to put pigs out to eat acorns in the autumn – this practice is called pannage. As well as making good fat pigs, this has another benefit as the pigs clear away the acorns. Pigs eat green acorns with relish, but cattle and ponies can be poisoned by them, although they still eat them. So if the pigs get there first, this means fewer poisoned ponies. More than five hundred pigs were let out into the forest at the start of pannage season in November this year ” the largest number for decades. Jonathan Gerrelli, New Forest head agister told Country Life magazine
The pigs have done a really good job… [but] as we get towards the end of pannage and the acorns run out the pigs start to wander. Although the pigs are very friendly there is bound to come a time when they come into contact with members of the public who are not geared up towards animals.
How right he was. Luckily for us, some clever dick was there with their camera phone when PC Derek Darling and police dog Ash had just such an encounter. The video is of feeble quality, and appears to have been remixed by some rap DJ – but the speed at which the unfortunate officer pegs it across the grass pursued by the amiable porkers is unmistakable, and quite gratifyingly entertaining. Peruse it below: