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Pigs are intelligent and social animals often found in sanctuaries after rescue from unsuitable conditions. In sanctuaries, pigs thrive in enriched environments that cater to their need for social interaction and space to roam. These settings allow them to exhibit natural behaviors, promoting their well-being and offering them a life-long, safe haven.

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About pigs

Pigs are highly intelligent and social creatures originating from Eurasian wild boars. They were domesticated around 9,000 years ago, primarily for their meat, known as pork. These animals possess an exceptional sense of smell and are omnivorous, consuming a varied diet that helps them adapt to diverse environments. Pigs are known for their cognitive abilities, often compared to dogs and young children in terms of intelligence. T


hey can solve problems, understand complex social dynamics, and show emotional sensitivity. In farming, pigs are among the most commonly raised livestock, but they also play significant roles in biomedical research due to their physiological similarities to humans.


Additionally, many pigs live in animal sanctuaries where they receive care and protection, allowing them to display their natural behaviors in a safe environment.

Sage, Onion & Bimi

Our sanctuary currently houses three pigs: two sisters named Sage and Onion, and another named Bimi. All three reside together in a specially constructed "pig-proof" enclosure.

Sage and Onion were welcomed to our centre when one of our volunteers relocated closer to the area and inquired if we could accommodate them. They have become a beloved and popular addition, with hundreds of visitors having enjoyed their company.

Bimi's arrival at our sanctuary was prompted by a change in her previous owner's circumstances. Originally raised in London, she was mistakenly sold as a micro pig. As she grew, she became too large to manage, leading her eventually to our sanctuary, where she now lives peacefully with the other residents.
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Image by Monika Kubala


Pigs typically live between 12 to 20 years, depending on their breed and living conditions. Domestic pigs usually have longer lifespans compared to those raised for commercial purposes, which significantly benefits from proper care and a suitable environment in settings like sanctuaries or as pets.

Family Feeding Pigs


Pigs, scientifically known as Sus scrofa, originated from wild boars in Eurasia. They were domesticated around 9,000 years ago in multiple regions, including the Near East and China, adapting well to a variety of habitats and becoming integral to many agricultural systems worldwide.

Did you know?

Pigs are quite the communicators! They can make more than 20 different vocalizations, ranging from grunts and squeals to oinks and barks. Each sound communicates specific feelings or intentions, such as seeking attention, expressing happiness, or signaling distress, making their social interactions quite sophisticated.

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Our sanctuary is home to dozens of different animals, ranging from horses, birds of prey, goats to cute ferrets and aviary birds. Take a look at our animal page to learn more.

Animals at the Heavy Horse Centre
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