Ten captive-bred pygmy hogs have been released in Manas National Park of Assam.
This is the third instance that pygmy hogs have successfully been introduced in the national park, a release issued by the biodiversity conservation group 'Aarayank', a key partner of the programme, said on Friday.
Notably, 14 pygmy hogs were released in Manas National Park in 2020 and 12 in 2021.
It may be mentioned that pygmy hogs are the world's smallest and rarest wild pigs. They are found only in tall dense alluvial grasslands and are incredibly shy.
They bear a brown coat with a few dark hairs. Its head is tapered with a slight crest of hair on the forehead and the back of its neck.
The animals were released by the Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme (PHCP). With this, the total number of such mammals released in the park so far increases to 36.
The pygmy hogs were released on in Rupahi grasslands in the Bhuyanpara range of the park.
The PHCP plans to release 60 pygmy hogs in Manas National Park by 2025. With this, the number of pygmy hogs reintroduced into the wild by the PHCP has reached 152 since 1996.
Initially, three protected areas in Assam were selected for better protection and restoration of alluvial grasslands, and over the next decade, 35 hogs were released in Sonai-Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary, 59 in Orang National Park and 22 in Barnadi Wildlife Sanctuary.