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It's The Mighty Aphrodite . . .

Bermuda - 2000

Aphrodite pigs out: Nivies Filice and her husband Caesar of Scott's Hill Road, Sandys feed their Vietnamese pot-bellied pig Aphrodite a treat in her exhaustively reinforced kennel. Aphrodite is an escape artist by nature.

AFTER a brief sojourn at the Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals it's home for the holidays for a Somerset pig named Aphrodite who might more aptly be named Houdini.

It was one of those double-take moments for one Daisyfield Drive, Sandys resident last week. There was a slight scratching from outside. Expecting the cat, she opened the door and was very surprised to see a small pig waiting patiently on her doorstep.

Thinking she'd finally lost it, she closed the door slowly then opened it again. The pig was still there.

"For the past couple of days, the cat's been acting kind of strange," said the Somerset woman. "She doesn't like to go outside sometimes, and now I see it's probably because of the pig."

"Daisyfield Drive's newest neighbour is Aphrodite, an 11 month-old Vietnamese pot-bellied pig who's turning out to be a little more than her owner Nives Filice, the Assistant Tax Commissioner, expected.

Mrs. Filice told the Mid-Ocean News about how she had acquired her pig.

"I met up with a friend of mine and he had a Vietnamese potbellied pig named Petunia," she said from her office on Church Street.

On her computer is a screen-saver bearing pictures of her 15-month-old son Biaggio, husband Caesar, her dog, and of course, Aphrodite. "He imports them from the Pennsylvania Amish. Petunia is older and fatter and much more lethargic than Aphrodite.

"I said I'd like one, and he said he'd get me one. Four years later he called me up and said: 'Your pig just came in.' I went down there and there she was, three months old."

Mrs. Filice said that was in April, and they have only just started having problems with wandering because before Aphrodite was smaller and easier to contain.

"The trouble right now is that she's in heat. Pigs also like to root around by nature. You can have them spayed and neutered the same way you can have dogs fixed.

"I just thought she was wandering over to Daisyfield Drive, which is next door. Every evening when I came home she was there waiting for us in the garage, so I had no idea. It wasn't until the SPCA called us this week to tell us they had her that I realized there was a problem.

"They said: 'Do you know where we found your pig'? I said, 'No, where?' They said, on Beacon Hill Lane. And she got into the yard where she was caught by pushing under the fence. The SPCA was concerned about dogs getting at her. They kept her overnight until we could reinforce her cage."

Mrs. Filice and her husband have spent more than $500 on trying to contain their pig, and $300 alone on a ready-made dog kennel. After spending hours refitting it with wire, Aphrodite simply untwisted the wire, and was free.

"They are very intelligent animals," said Mrs. Hice. "They are smarter than dogs. It took my Doberman months to learn his name, it took Aphrodite a matter of days."

She said these particular pigs are known to be escape artists. While she won't get very tall, Aphrodite, will eventually get very fat and hopefully more lethargic.

"My dog doesn't seem to mind her at all. It's funny," she said. "The dog begs for treats, and Aphrodite stands next to him and begs."

Before buying a pig like Aphrodite buyers should be warned - they are very difficult pets to contain. And rumours that they can be made to go in a litter --- have yet to be proved true. They also have a tendency to chew things.

By Jessie Moniz

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