It’s the tale of three little pigs, and it’s kept Darwin enthralled.
Last Wednesday police in the Northern Territory warned motorists that ‘‘wild boars’’ were causing a nuisance along one of Darwin’s busiest roads.
Apparently the animals were near a McDonalds and creating a traffic hazard. People took to Facebook to say they had seen them wandering around town for weeks, and the pigs - actually piglets - became mini-celebrities.
Some clever investigating tracked down their home, which wasn’t made from bricks, sticks or straw. They’d escaped from the Minmarama indigenous community.
As the pigs’ notoriety grew, police, much to their embarrassment, repeatedly tried to apprehend them without success.
Some suggested drugging their food supply, while others favoured employing crossbows or hunting dogs as a way of eradicating them before they grew into dangerous boars.
The animals consistently gave police the slip, though, despite reports from residents who had sighted them racing around a golf course and along roads.
Some people said the little guys had come forward for a pat before scurrying off.
‘‘Pig chasing was not a topic taught at the police college, as it became obvious this afternoon,’’ said Senior Sergeant Garry Smith at the height of the chase last week.
But for two of the pigs, their life on the run ended at the weekend when officers cornered them in a safe area at a reserve and opened fire.
One of the surviving critters really did go all the way home after the shooting. His owner, Davina Kenyon, has told the NT News he may be sent to exile to Humpty Doo. ‘‘There is not much I can do. I am sad,’’ she said.