Lifestyle

Rare Pig Breed Looks Like a Sheep and is Friendly Like a Dog

At first, you might think you’re looking at a sheep with large ears. But a closer examination reveals a woolly pig with the signature snout and eyes standing out against all that curly fluff.

Flickr/chris lovelock

This fully clothed pig is known as the Mangalica and originated in Hungary back in the 19th century. Up until recently, this breed of pig was virtually unknown to the rest of the world.

They were originally bred as food for the Austro-Hungarian emperors in the 1830s.

Mangalica was a successful breed in the region for over 100 years. They numbered in the tens of thousands. However, as the Hungarian National Association of Mangalica Breeders notes, the animals went nearly extinct after WWII.

The communist era brought numbers as low as 35 pigs in the 1960s.

Flickr/Björn Láczay

Perhaps one of the only reasons we can enjoy the adorable fuzziness of these pigs today is because of one geneticist named Peter Toth, according to the BBC.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall he began to breathe life back into the Mangalica lines. He even founded the National Association of Mangalica Pig Breeders in 1994.

Now there are three main variants of the fleece-covered pig.

The blonde Mangalica pig is a light color, falling anywhere between a white and a yellowish gold.

Hungarian_Mangalica_Pig
Wikipedia/Kicsinyul

The swallow-bellied mangalica has a dark back and a light belly, face and legs.

Wikimedia Commons/Nienetwiler

And the newest arrival on the breeding scene is the red Mangalica pig, which boasts a vibrantly ginger color.

Wikipedia/ani

These pigs have since made their way over to the States and make for wonderful free-range farm animals. They are naturals at foraging for food over large areas. They also come with a warm coat for chillier climates.

Peter Toth is still campaigning to keep these pigs in spotlight and encourages farmers to raise this resilient and friendly breed around the world.

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Rare Pig Breed Looks Like a Sheep and is Friendly Like a Dog