Painting sow 'Pigcasso' hogs the limelight at South Africa farm

Painting sow 'Pigcasso' hogs the limelight at South Africa farm

Brandishing a paintbrush in her snout, "Pigcasso" enthusiastically tosses her head to create bright, bold strokes across a canvas propped up in her sty.

The sow was rescued from an abattoir as a piglet and brought to an animal sanctuary in Franschhoek, in South Africa's Western Cape region in 2016, where her new owner noticed her love of colour and paint brushes.

Pigcasso's work has also been displayed around the world and recently on the watch faces of Swiss watchmaker Swatch.

"Well, pigs are very smart animals and so when I brought Pigcasso here to the barn, I thought how do I keep her entertained?," said Joanne Lefson, founder Farm Sanctuary SA.

"And so we threw in some soccer balls, rugby balls, and of course there were some paintbrushes lying around because the barn was newly built, and it was interesting. 

"She basically ate or destroyed everything except these paintbrushes and I thought gosh maybe there's something in there, because it was really strange that she loved them so much and it just took a bit of positive reinforcement and to be honest it wasn't long before she was picking them up, going towards a canvas and creating these amazing masterpieces that are now sold all over the world."