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Current Affairs 2023

Andaman Wild Pig - UPSC Current Affairs

The Andaman Wild Pig, a unique subspecies found exclusively in the Andaman Islands, is a small and adaptable creature. Despite habitat challenges, it thrives through social bonds and diverse feeding habits, making it a captivating symbol of island biodiversity.

Jun 19, 2023

3 min read

Deep within the lush forests of India, Nepal, Myanmar, western Thailand, and Sri Lanka, roams a remarkable creature known as the Andaman Wild Pig. Scientifically classified as Sus scrofa cristatus, it is a subspecies of the wild boar with distinct characteristics that set it apart from its European counterpart.




One striking feature that immediately catches the eye is the Andaman Wild Pig's large mane. It forms a majestic crest along its back, extending from its head to the lower body. This distinguishing trait, combined with a larger, more sharply featured and straighter skull, gives the Indian boar a regal appearance. Additionally, it possesses smaller, sharper ears and an overall lighter build. While it stands taller and has sparser hair compared to the European boar, its back bristles are noticeably more developed. The tail is tufted, and the cheeks are adorned with a thick layer of hair.


Adults of the Andaman Wild Pig typically measure between 83.8 to 91.4 cm (33 to 36 in) in shoulder height, with the occasional specimen reaching an impressive 38 inches in Bengal. In terms of body length, they can reach up to five feet. Weighing between 90.7 to 136.1 kg (200 to 300 lb), these creatures possess a robust physical presence.


But the Andaman Wild Pig is more than just a majestic sight in the wilderness. It has an intertwined history with humans that dates back to the Upper Paleolithic era. Evidence of this interaction can be found in ancient cave paintings, such as the depiction discovered in Bhimbetaka. Such cultural artifacts provide a glimpse into the deep connection between these creatures and human civilization.


The Indian boar also holds a significant place in Vedic mythology. Legends and stories recount its appearances, often as avatars of deities. In one tale found in the Brāhmaṇas, the boar steals the treasure of the asuras, only to be slain by Indra. Indra then presents the carcass to Vishnu, who offers it as a sacrifice to the gods. Another mythological account portrays the boar as an avatar of Brahma, responsible for raising the earth from the primeval waters during creation. In the epic narratives of the Rāmāyaṇa, Mahabharata, and the Purāṇas, another boar known as Varaha emerges as an avatar of Vishnu. Varaha triumphs over the demon Hiranyaksha and saves Bhumi, the Earth goddess.


These captivating tales and cultural references highlight the significance of the Andaman Wild Pig in India's rich mythology. They showcase the deep reverence and connection ancient civilizations held for these creatures, intertwining them with creation narratives and heroic exploits.


However, the story of the Andaman Wild Pig is not without challenges. Like many wildlife species, these majestic creatures face threats such as habitat loss and environmental changes. Conservation efforts and the preservation of their natural habitats are crucial for ensuring the survival of this unique subspecies.


In conclusion, the Andaman Wild Pig, a subspecies of the Indian boar, is a majestic and captivating creature that roams the forests of India, Nepal, Myanmar, western Thailand, and Sri Lanka. Its distinctive physical features, historical interactions with humans, and presence in mythological narratives make it an integral part of the cultural and natural heritage of the region. It is our responsibility to protect and conserve these magnificent creatures, ensuring their existence for generations to come.


Image credit: JP Bennett - https://www.flickr.com/photos/jpbennett1/5689877064

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