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World Pig Day

Peter is an independent international zoo consultant, critic and writer with over 50 years of work within zoos.


World Pig Day

The Pig family Suidae range from Europe to both Asia and Africa. There are 19 recognised species.

World Pig Day has been celebrated on the 1st March since 1972. It draws attention to an extremely intelligent animal to which man owes so much.

The celebration is most popular in the US where there are sports events and activities in many places including zoos.

Most people are familiar with pigs from an early age from reading the story of the 'Three Little Pigs'. Today 'Peppa Pig' is the favourite of many young children. Who could forget piglet in 'Winnie the Pooh' There are a multitude of books about pigs for children.

Most everybody has had a 'Piggy Bank' at one time or another. It is a familiar word.

"This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed..."

"To market, to market, to buy a fat pig"

"Sweat like a pig"

When Pigs Fly.

And there are many more.

Some species like the Visayan Warty Pig Sus cebifrons are under threat but in their turn Wild Boar Sus scrofa and feral Pigs cause extensive damage in some locales.

Domestic Pig


Domestic Pigs

Surprisingly there are many people who keep Pigs as house pets. The Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig is very popular. This is an endangered domestic breed from Vietnam. Pigs have the reputation of being dirty which is completely untrue. In reality they are very clean and can be house trained.

Red River Hog - Potamochoerus porcus


The Red River Hog is the most colourful of the Pig family. They live in a variety of different habitats with most of its distribution in the Guinean and Congolian forests. It rarely strays away from the rainforests. Whereas the population is declining it is presently not of great concern.

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They a popular species in zoos and are studbook managed within the US.

Warthog - Phacochoerus africanus


The Warthog is a familiar animal to many people because of its appearance as Pumbaa an important character in the Disney movie 'The Lion King'.

There are a number of sub-species to be found across sub Saharan Africa. It is still a fairly common species especially in protected areas.

Babirusa - Buru babirusa


The Babirusa is found on a number of Indonesian islands. Originally believed to be just one species it now known to be made up of several.

It is classed as a vulnerable species and is protected in spite of which it is threatened by poaching and loss of habitat. It is a popular species in zoos because of its bizarre appearance.

There is an International Studbook for the species.

Pygmy Hog - Porcula salvania

Photo: Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Photo: Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

The Pygmy Hog is an endangered species with a population of less than 300 animals. It has a limited range through North Eastern India and possibly Bhutan.

It is the smallest of the pig family. It is a protected species. There is a small captive population in its natural habitat which practices breeding and release. There are none in captivity elsewhere.

Giant Forest Hog


Giant Forest Hog Hylochoerus meinertzhageni

Found in West and Central Africa. Can weigh as much as 275 Kg. They are hunted for meat. The wild population is quite stable but they are threatened by habitat destruction. There are none in captivity.

Wild Boar - Sus scrofa


The Wild Boar is one of the widest ranging animals in the world. Originally from Eurasia it was introduced to the Americas and Australia and New Zealand and many Oceanic islands. There are reckoned to be in the region of 24 million feral pigs in Australia. There are several wild populations in the UK around 3,000 in Hong Kong.

They can rival the Giant Forest Hog in size and reach up to 770 lbs in weight. There are several recognised subspecies.

The Amazing Pigasso

Pigasso produces numerous works of 'art'. It is popular and sells well. Read more about animal art HERE.


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