Pygmy hog thrives

after three seasons of captive breeding, the endangered species of pygmy hogs have risen from six to 51 at the research centre in Basishta, on the outskirts of Guwahati, Assam.

The centre was set up under a Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme in 1995 after the animal, which was believed to have been extinct, was sighted in 1971 in the Manas National Park in the northwestern part of Assam.

"Like any other modern captive breeding programme, it was necessary to carry out dna studies to determine the genetic proximity among the wild caught and the wild sired hogs to maximise genetic heterozygosity (cross-breeding) in captivity for its long time survival,' said Gautam Narayan, director of the centre.

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