Mark Baker  /  AP
Beauty, a 5-month-old pig, is one of the stars at this year's annual agriculture exhibition in Sydney.
updated 4/9/2004 1:38:25 PM ET 2004-04-09T17:38:25

Easter revellers in Australia’s biggest city are discovering pigs really can fly.

Led by a well-fed porker known as Miss Piggy, piglets that dive off a 13-foot platform have proved a hit with the crowds that pack the showground at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney, which runs through the weekend.

The well-trained diving pigs race up a ramp before flying off the tower into a pool of water, prompting squeals of delight from the crowd.

“I’ve only seen them in the mud or eating. That’s a new thing. It was so cute,” said Jodie Rigby, 13, after the races.

Cheered on by a crowd of around 300, other teams of piglets shoot out of cages at the crack of a starting pistol, tearing around a 115-foot track with numbers on their back so would-be punters can identify their winning beast.

“These pigs were picked out of a batch of 40 and then after that you take your chances on them,” said showman Tom Vandeleur, who tours Australia with his talented squad.

“Most pigs will race, but it all depends on the training methods and whether you can really control these animals. It’s a whole ball game and it’s very intense,” he said.

When they are not performing, the pampered pigs live in luxury sties with air-conditioned sleeping quarters.

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