A dozen pygmy pigs, the smallest pigs in the world, were released into the wild by scientists in India this week in an attempt to increase the wild population of this once considered extinct species.
Weight about 8 to 9 kg
Pygmy pig, or Porcelain salvania, is approximately 25 cm high and 65 cm long, and weighs approximately 8 to 9 kg. It lives in moist, high grassy prairies and by the mid-20th century was often found in the foothills of the Himalayas in India, Nepal and Bhutan. But its population began to decline in the 1960s, with the gradual destruction of habitats, and it was even believed that the species became extinct at one point. Several specimens, however, were found in 1971 in the state of Assam, in northern India, and in 1993, only those from Manas National Park, in this border area of Bhutan, are still known.
7 males and 5 females
The pygmy pig protection program began in 1996 to raise them in captivity, using six pigs. It now cares for about 70 copies, and has released over 140 in the last few years.This time it is seven males and five females“one of the scientists of the program, Dhritiman Das, told AFP, specifying that they were released twice, eight Tuesdays and four Saturdays. The wild population is currently estimated at less than 250 animals.”We plan to release another 60 in the next four years, so we can truly rebuild our wild population.“, explained Mr. Das. The program also provides protection and sometimes even reconstruction of their habitat.