The heartwarming tale of how a bullied sheep became friends with a wild pig

The friendship started a year ago and is still going strong.

An unlikely friendship between a pig and a sheep has warmed the hearts of thousands of people online.

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A year ago, the old ram was being bullied by younger sheep and the farmer opted to move it into a field of its own.

That’s when the wild pig showed up.

Now a year on, the spotlight has been turned to the animal’s friendship after the farmer’s sister Shelley, posted an image on Twitter.

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She explained that the two animals, nicknamed McDuff and Pig, had been friends since day one and now spend their time together in the smallholding near Nelson, in New Zealand.

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“My brother takes extremely good care of his animals and separated McDuff when he started to be bullied by the younger rams,” Shelley, from Arrowtown, told Press Association.

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“Last spring a small pig found her way into the paddock with McDuff and they’ve been firm friends since then. They hang out together all day.

“She was clearly orphaned and found herself a new Dad and meals served daily.”

More than 30,000 people have liked the tale and picture on Twitter.

“The reaction has been heartwarming,” Shelley added. “It started as a sweet Sunday night post for my 300-odd followers. I expected a few likes so it’s been quite incredible to see how many hearts have been touched.”

She added that it was “good news in our crazy world”.