Q: What do you get when you combine a sheep, a pig, and a dog?
A: The Mangalitsa.
Well, technically, the Mangalitsa is all pig, but this wooly-coated critter is unique enough in appearance and behavior to have earned itself the nickname “sheep pig” and a reputation for suspiciously dog-like behavior.
“If you treat them nicely, they’ll become as tame as dogs—they’ll follow you, play with you,” says Mangalitsa breeder Wilhelm Kohl.
So why haven’t we heard of this practically mythical creature until now? As it turns out, the Mangalitsa pig, a once-popular Hungarian breed of the Austro-Hungarian empire in the 19th century, nearly disappeared altogether when Hungary was under Communism’s thumb.
Fortunately, after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Peter Toth, an animal geneticist, bought up the last of the Mangalitsas in an effort to save the rare breed from extinction.
Thanks to Toth, purebred Mangalitsas, sometimes called the Mangalica pig or Mangalitza pig, survived into the 21st century, and today, with heritage breeds being all the rage, the Hungarian pig is making a comeback.
Let’s get to the pictures of hairy pigs already!
I've now travelled all over Scotland and I'm not going to lie. One of the best moments was spotting this woolly pig 🐷 before leaving Orkney. Apparently it's a Hungarian breed but in the land of hairy coos and whiskey, you'll kind of wonder if this isn't something the Scots came up with themselves. Orkney was fantastic by the way but nothing beats a sheep pig. #orkney #scotland #pig #sheep #sheeppig #woollypig #summer #2017 #rainy
Before you haul off and buy a sheep-pig-dog of your very own, hold up. Mangalitsas require a lot of room to roam and have free range. These wooly pigs are master foragers and need plenty of outdoor space to stay healthy and happy.
And speaking of healthy, happy pigs, check out these perfectly precious pot-bellies!
What do you think of these curly hair wonders? Let us know in the comments section!
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