Pygmy Pigs Thriving in Wild

Cute Alert: Enigmatic Pygmy Pigs Thriving in the Wild

Pygmy hogs, described by one conservationist as shy and "enigmatic," stand only 10 inches tall and weigh only about 13-20 pounds. Few are thought to exist in the wild.

"The practice of indiscriminate dry-season annual burning and uncontrolled livestock grazing," said conservationist William Oliver, "threatens the last surviving wild population of pygmy hogs in Manas [National Park in Assam, a northeastern state in India] and, if continued, will doubtless also affect many other threatened and sensitive grassland species."

So in 1996, a captive-breeding program was started, and in 2008, 16 of the pygmy pigs were released into the Sonai Rupai wildlife sanctuary. While they're captive, they're largely left alone and fed very little so that they'll forage; this assures scientists that when they're let loose, they'll be able to survive. Here's to the survival of the cutest! We wish the little enigmatic piggies the best.

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