Suidae Sus salvanius

A small* wild pig that used to live throughout the terai region of India, Bhutan and Nepal. Since its formal description in 1847, its numbers have been steadily decreasing, and by the 1950s it was finally assumed to be extinct. In 1971 a small population of pygmy hogs were discovered in Assam, India. In the 1980s a breeding program was set up, but they are still a critically endangered species, primarily from human expansion into their natural habitat. In 1996, the remaining population was estimated to contain only 100-150 individuals.

The pigmy hog is 55-71 cm long, 20-30 cm tall at the shoulder, and weigh 6.5 to 12 kg. They are brown, with yellow longitudal stripes, and have coarse hair. They have triangular heads, short, stubby legs, and a very small (2.5 cm) tail. Adult males have elongated upper canines, which peak out of the side of their mouth.

They live in dense, tall grassland, eating roots, tubers, insects, and other invertebrates. They live in groups of 4-6, usually made of a couple females and their piglets. The males are solitary, but apparently non-territorial. They create nests to protect them from the worst heat or cold by digging a trench and lining it with grass. Other evidence of their occupation of an area are narrow paths through the grass. Their main predators are dhole, python, and humans.

* The smallest of the suids, in fact.

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