Pig pens and play­grounds

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - MATTHEW SALMONS

The pupils of West Rolle­ston Pri­mary School (WRPS) wel­comed two new school mates last week. They’re pop­u­lar, they’re sib­lings and they’re kunekune pigs.

At feed­ing time, pupils rush down to Dun­can and Pep­per’s en­clo­sure. A low fence al­lows them to reach over and give their new friends a scratch be­hind the ear or a pat on the back.

WRPS prin­ci­pal Sylvia Fi­dow said it had al­ways been her dream to have an­i­mals at the school for the kids to in­ter­act with. She said her pupils were ‘‘stoked’’ to have the kunekune and it was all thanks to Rolle­ston’s Dan and Laura Clarke.

The Clarkes got the two as tiny piglets from the Lee­ston Fete a year ago but it be­came hard to keep them when the fam­ily moved to Rolle­ston. Their son Blake sug­gested they give the pigs to his school. Although they did not think it would hap­pen, Dan said they put it out there to pre­vent the pigs be­ing sep­a­rated. When the school said they had no bud­get for an en­clo­sure, the Clarkes stepped up to pro­vide that too.

Dan and friend, Ben Steven­son, pitched in over ‘‘one good week­end’’ to build the en­clo­sure and shel­ter for free at the back of the school. Ex­cited pupils and par­ents rushed to see the pigs ar­rive when the 3pm bell rang last Mon­day, Laura said.

Fi­dow said the pupils would have a real op­por­tu­nity to learn from car­ing for the kunekune.

MATTHEW SALMONS/STUFF

Pep­per the kunekune was quite an es­cape artist be­fore re­unit­ing with brother Dun­can.

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