Pgymy Hogs - This Time with Zero Artificial Selection!

After our miniature pigs post last week, an astute Zooillogix reader reminded us that there already are mini-pigs native to India. Weighing only about 10-20lbs, the Pygmy Hog is critically endangered with less than two hundred thought to be left in the wild. Once native to India, Bhutan and Nepal, these little guys were thought extinct from the 1950s-60s, until a small population was discovered. They can now be found only in the northwest Assam region in India.

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The pygmy hog is notable as it is the only surviving member of the genus Porcula - which would make an awesome bad horror movie name - a unique evolutionary branch of piggies. They are known for their highly nervous behavior and very quick movements and are basically the chihuahuas of the pig world.

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More porker action below the fold...

The Durrell Wildlife Trust, a conservation organization based out of the Jersey Zoo (UK), has taken it upon themselves to rebuild the pygmy hog population and has been quite succesful with a captive breeding program. As of October, 2006 they had bred and released up to seventy pigs, increasing the wild population by almost 50%. The Jersey Zoo has concentrated on rare and endangered animals since its inception.

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Thanks to Tengu for the heads up.

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Aah, its THAT Gerald Durrel - when I was growing up in 80s in Czechoslovakia, the commies approved translation of a number of Durrell travel-adventures - about catching the animals for captive breeding program. It was a breath aof fresh air and allways very funny writing: 25 years later I stil remember his decription of driving down some terrible potholled dirt road with a small precious animal tucked under his T-shirt (as he did not have a cage when he caught it) alternately chewing on his belly and warming it up it with a copious pee. Or how he stunk up the whole airport terminal and was kicked out by security because he was transporting an over-ripe breadfruit as a bait for catching bats...

i love himmmmmmmâ¥â¥â¥â«

i love himmmmmmmâ¥â¥â¥â«

i would love to live by some of those hog they would be fun to wach

By zackery harris (not verified) on 27 Mar 2010 #permalink