Pygmy Hogs In Assam

The pygmy hog is still endangered but a reintroduction programme in Assam, India, has given it a greater chance of survival

A highlight of seven years living and working in India was a brief visit to Assam to review the land holdings of an investor who was considering having us assist with the development of a conservation-focused lodge. I did not know about this endangered species at the time, but its current status brings a good vibe to my day for more than one reason:

Pig in clover: how the world’s smallest wild hog was saved from extinction

A pygmy hog enters the wild from the release enclosure in Manas reserve. Photograph: Goutam Narayan

The greyish brown pygmy hog (Porcula salvania), with its sparse hair and a streamlined body that is about the size of a cat’s, is the smallest wild pig in the world, and also one of its rarest, appearing on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list as endangered. Continue reading

Fast Cats’ Feast

The cheetah is the fastest animal on land—a fact that is often repeated, but seldom truly appreciated. When documentary-makers film cheetas, they typically go for low-angle close-ups that capture the creature’s majesty, but that underplay its speed. The BBC’s The Hunt bucked the trend last year with aerial shots that reveal just how fast the cheetah is.

Ed Yong, writing on the Atlantic’s website, refers to the video clip above with his opening paragraph of Cheetahs Never Prosper. The cat lays the table for its feast, in full speed, and then Mr. Yong shares some plain truths: Continue reading