World’s Smallest Hog Released Into Wild In Manas

World’s Smallest Hog Released Into Wild In Manas

In a boost to the population of a species that has almost become extinct, a dozen of the world's smallest pigs – the pygmy hog– was released in the Manas National Park of Assam

The pygmy hog usually lives in tall and wet grasslands and was mainly found along plains on the Himalayan foothills in India, Nepal, and Bhutan,

Its population declined in the 1960s, leading to fears it had become extinct until it was rediscovered in India's northeastern state of Assam in 1971, conservationists say according to an Agence France Presse report.

By 1993, it was only found in a few pockets of Assam's Manas National Park, which borders Bhutan.

The Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme, involving several organisations including from state and national governments, established a captive breeding scheme with six hogs in 1996 to try and revive their population, the report read.

Eight of the hogs were released in Manas National Park in Assam.

"This time we are releasing 12 pygmy hogs including seven male and five female," the programme's field scientist Dhritiman Das told AFP at the release site in Manas National Park on Saturday.

Eight of the hogs were released in Manas on Tuesday and four more on Saturday. Some 14 were released last year. The programme looks after around 70 captive hogs and is breeding more to be released, the report said.

The past week's releases take the number of pigs reintroduced into the wild by the programme to 142. The wild population is estimated to be less than 250, conservationists say, the report further stated.

"In next four years, we target to release 60 hogs… so that they can build their own population in the wild," Mr Das added.

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