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Bornean Bear Pigs and Animals

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The Bearded Pig

Sus barbatus, or the “Bearded Pig”, is a small-sized member of the pig family native to South East Asia. The bearded pig gets it name from the unmistakable tuft of fur on its snout which very closely resembles a beard.The bearded pig lives in rainforests and mangrove thickets across Borneo, Sumatra and the surrounding islands in Indonesia and the Eastern Philippines. They eat a diet of earthworms, fruits, roots, seedlings and other small morsels available in the rainforest, even including carrion.

The bearded pig is one of the most slender orders of the pig family, and this lightweight frame is supported by thin legs and hoofed feet. Bearded pigs vary in colour from dark brown to charcoal grey, and despite their hairy snouts they have very little hair on their hides.

The hairy whiskers that cover their snouts and give the pigs such an odd name are white or pale yellow in colour, and grow around the top of the snout and the sides of the pigs face. On the front of their snouts are two pairs of warts, although these can often be hidden from view by the pigs’ beards.

Once fully grown, the bearded pig can measure up to 165 cm (5.5 ft) in length and will stand between 70 cm and 85 cm (2.4 ft – 2.8 ft) from the ground. The average adult bearded pig will weigh around 150 kg.

The pigs live in family groups, sometimes consisting of up to 200 family members, and generally follow groups of rainforest primates, such as macaque monkeys or gibbons. The families of pigs will eat the discarded fruits picked from the higher reaches of the rainforest and left behind by the monkeys.

These families will embark on a mass migration once every year, and are the only member of the pig, or “suid”, family to do so. As many as 100 bearded pigs will travel together on the migration that will be lead by one of the more mature family members.

The bearded pig is not an endangered species, although certain subspecies such as sus barbatus ahoenobarbus (the Palawan bearded pig) and sus barbatus oi (the Western bearded pig) are classified as low-risk, near threatened subspecies.

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