RESIDENTS have been warned not to approach a wild pig which has been missing from Colchester Zoo for a week.

The young red river hog escaped early last week after its group was spooked by either a trespasser or a fox, according to the Zoo’s boss.

Since then, keepers have been tracking the animal across Stanway fields, but have yet to catch her.

It is not known how she escaped. 

“We’re still looking for one of our red river hogs after she got out last week,” said Anthony Tropeano, zoo director.

“We’ve been laying trails for her to use to get back home but she hasn’t picked them up just yet.”

Mr Tropeano said the hog, which is about the size of a labrador dog, is not dangerous but asked residents not to approach it.

He added: “She certainly won’t attack, but for everyone’s safety, the best thing to do if people find her is to keep an eye on her and just call us at the zoo and we’ll be there as soon as we can.”

A number of sightings have been reported by residents near to the Stanway zoo, so the search has been made more focussed.

“We know the area she is in, we just need to get a hold of her,” Mr Tropeano added.

The director also said it is unusual for the animal to stay away for so long from its group.

“It is used to living in a big group so we think she is looking for a way to get herself home,” he said.

“It looks like the night before she got away, the whole group was spooked.

“We found the rest around the enclosure in odd places so something different must have happened.”