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World’s Tiniest Pig At 10 Inches Tall, Once Thought Extinct, Now Returning To The Wild

Niamh Shackleton


World's Tiniest Pig At 10 Inches Tall, Once Thought Extinct, Now Returning To The WildPygmy Hog Conservation Programme

Pygmy hogs, the world’s tiniest pigs, are once again becoming a feature of the ecosystem in the Indian state of Assam.

The small animals look truly miniscule compared to their 100kg wild boar counterparts, standing at a tiny 10 inches tall and weighing no more than 22 pounds.


Once thought to have been extinct, the pygmy hog was ‘rediscovered’ in the 1970s, with conservationists going on to breed them in the 1990s in a bid to increase the animal’s numbers. They were initially discovered by western scientists in 1847.

Pygmy hog and babies (Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme)Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme

The pigs were bred in captivity before being released into Assam, a state in north-eastern India, according to National Geographic.

Thanks to conservation efforts, there are now thought to be around 300-400 of the petite pigs in the wild, with a further 76 living in captivity.


Some of the pigs have been released in the Manas and Orang national parks, while others were released in Barnadi and Sonai Rupai national sanctuaries – all based in Assam, where the hogs initially began being bred more than two decades ago. 130 pygmy hogs were released in these locations between 2008 and 2020.

Baby pygmy pig (Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme)Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme

Speaking about the animal’s population increasing, Parag Deka, project director of Guwahati’s Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme, said, ‘It’s very important for me to keep going and save this species from extinction. We should all look for a purpose in life. When I got involved in this project, I realised this can give me that purpose.’

Deka added that the project intends on releasing another 60 pigs into Manas within the next five years.


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Topics: Animals, conservation, extinct, Pig


National Geographic
  1. National Geographic

    World's tiniest pig, once thought extinct, returning to the wild

Niamh Shackleton

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