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Assam Zoo set to become the first zoo in world to have the critically endangered Pygmy Hog

Nov 20, 2014 15:15 IST

Assam State Zoo in Guwahati in the third week of November 2014 decided to have the critically endangered pig Pygmy Hog (Porcula salvania). Pygmy Hog is the rarest and smallest wild pig in the world.

With this decision, Assam State Zoo is set to become the first and only zoo of the world to have this critically endangered species of pigs.

The Zoo took the decision to have the Pigmy Hogs as they are on the brink of extinction, and they want to make the zoo a captive breeding centre for the critically endangered mammals.

The Pygmy Hog Research and Breeding Centre at Basistha, Assam will provide the pigs to the Assam zoo.


In order to conserve the Pygmy Hog, a simulated habitat has been created in an enclosure in the Zoo by growing Barenga grass. The grass was collected from Orang National Park.

Assam Zoo, earlier, between 1970 and 1990 had some pigmy hogs for public viewing and have planned to have them again for public view after a gap of almost two decades.

About Pygmy Hog (Porcula salvania)

Pygmy hog is the smallest and rarest of wild pigs available in Assam. At present number of this critically endangered mammal are around 200 only. The species measures about 65 cm in length and 25 cm in height. It weighs around 8 to 9 kilograms.

The species is at the brink of extinction as it has been exterminated from most of its original range in India and Nepal. Earlier, the species were found in a narrow strip of tall and wet grassland plains in the area south of the Himalayan foothills from Uttar Pradesh to Assam, through Nepal terai and Bengal duars.

At present, the species is restricted only in northwestern Assam in places like Manas Tiger Reserve, Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary and Orang National Park.

 

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