Monday, March 31, 2014


The Pygmy Hog

I’m always searching for another interesting animal to write about and introduce you to. Today, while watching the Science channel on TV, I became entranced with Madagascar. Now don’t worry, we’re not going back there again. But after watching the program I was determined to find something a bit out of the ordinary and I think I did.

Today we’re going to talk about the Pygmy Hog - different, right? Good, so let’s do it.

 Cute little fella, isn’t he?

This guy bears little resemblance to the Three Little Pigs or to Babe, that famous pig of the movie world. Their coat is greyish brown on top and paler underneath. Their snout is a bit longer than what we’re used to seeing and it has a pointy as opposed to that squished look.

More than this, the Pygmy Hog is very small and it is very endangered. As a matter of fact up until the 1970s, the Pygmy Hog was considered extinct. Luckily, nesting sites have been found in Manas National Park in Assam, India. Scientists are very excited about this discovery. Manas National Park is a World Heritage site and there are a number of programs connected with the park. These programs include Project Tiger and the Elephant Reserve.

Entrance to the Manas National Park in Assam, India

So how much of a pygmy is the Pygmy Hog? He is the smallest hog in the entire pig family. The Pygmy Hog can weight from seventeen to twenty-two pounds and it is approximately twelve inches at the shoulder. The babies are so tiny that you can easily hold one in your palm.

Picture credit –

There has been much discussion about whether or not the Pygmy Hog is related to the pig we know, the domestic pig, or even to wild boars. A taxonomist living in the 1800s, namely, B.H. Hodgson, believed that the Pygmy Hog was not related to our domestic pig or even to wild boars so he gave it a very distinct Latin name, specifically, Porcula salvania. Currently, the Latin name attributed to, or given to the Pygmy Hog is, Sus salvinius. A recent genetic study has shown that Hodgson was correct and a movement has begun to reinstate the name, Porcula salvania.

Pygmy Hogs build nests on the ground. All members of the Pygmy Hog family use the nests; the male, the female and the piglets as well. They are the only pig that builds a nest.

I have found a short video that will show you a Pygmy Hog adding grass to her nest. She has babies in the nest, and she’s quite a good mother as you will see.

Pygmy Hogs like to eat many different foods. They like insects, fruit, worms, and they will also eat roots and grass. They are very interesting in that they will create trails through the tall elephant grass, and these routes help them to navigate. They will travel single file along these pathways with the adults in front and rear, protecting the younger pigs in between.

The Pygmy Hog is critically endangered because of habitat depletion. For all the youngsters who read my blog, depletion is a word you should know. It means reduction. So the place where the Pygmy Hog lives is being reduced and the land can no longer support the Pygmy Hog’s populations. The area where they live has been reduced in order to make room for agriculture and grazing of domestic animals. I mentioned above that the only place that a small population can be found is Manas National Park. There may be only 100 to 150 Pygmy Hogs left there.

There are a number of programs that have been implemented (started) including a captive breeding program. A captive breeding program is one in which the adults are captured and they and their offspring are protected until they can be safely reintroduced into the wild. This captive breeding program is essential in keeping this wonderful little creature from extinction.

If you are interested in learning more about the Pygmy Hog, you can visit any one or all of these sites:

Thank you so much for coming by to read about this critically endangered little hog. I really appreciate it and so does he. 

I also want to thank for information and some of the pictures. 


Jeanne E. Rogers, Author 
The Sword of Demelza
Award Winning Middle Grade Fantasy Where Endangered Animals Roam the Pages