Friday, December 28, 2007

Shaggy Pig

He's a fine pig. An admirable pig. A sheepish pig. And the Daily Mail (UK) told all about him today.

He is a pig... but not as we know it. From those extravagantly insulated shoulders down, he looks for all the world like a sheep.

The four-legged Boris represents what Mr York hopes will be a renaissance for the Lincolnshire Curly Coat pig, often called the sheep-pig, and a breed which became extinct here 37 years ago.

In his quest to reintroduce the breed, he discovered British farmers had exported many Curly Coats during the early 20th century to Hungary, where their coat helped them survive harsh winters. There they were cross-bred with the Mangalitza, a similar breed, creating the 'Lincolista'.

Mr York found the sub-breed thriving in Austria, and brought 17 of the animals back to his Pigs Paradise farm near Stonehenge, Wiltshire, driving a trailer 2,400 miles across Europe to ensure they had regular food and water stops.

"It was a mammoth task," said Mr York. "It was no good acquiring just one or two. We drove hundreds of miles from farm to farm in an attempt to round up enough unrelated stock to build a good herd."

Mr. York's Curly Coats have one more thing going for them:

Hair from the pigs is popular in the U.S. where its ability to retain air bubbles under water makes it ideal for tying fishing flies.

What a great pig!

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