(Last Updated on : 29-06-2013)
The term Boar is applied to an adult male pig, but the wild pigs which inhabit the subcontinent are commonly referred to as wild boar. There are two species, the widespread Indian Wild Boar
and the very rare and recently rediscovered Pigmy Hog occurring in Northern Assam
. Boars are not ruminants with complicated stomachs and they do not chew their cud. They have well developed canines in the upper and lower jaws which are known as tusks and which are used in both sexes as weapons of offence. Both sexes among the boars have elongated snouts, thick muscular necks, and short tails.
Boars are particularly attracted to carrion and will even cannibalize dead members of their own kind. They are serious pests of sugarcane and maize crops in parts of the northwest and also wreak havoc in potato and groundnut crops as the tubers or seed pods develop. Normally during the daytime the boars stay in covers provided by natural swamps or cane fields. At night they roam long distances in search of food and generally forage in small family parties.
The breeding season of the boars is during the summer season because during this time of the year there is succulent vegetation and an abundance of insects throughout the country. Female boars start to breed when they are just twelve months old but on the other hand the male boars are able to do so only at their third year. Wild boars are found in the lower Himalayan valleys in tropical deciduous forest and thorn scrub habitat but they avoid extensive desert or evergreen rain-forest.
The Pigmy Hog is secretive and very limited in habitation. They are diminutive in size, adult males weighing hardly 9 kg and standing at around 23 to 30 cm at shoulder, whilst adult females weigh about 6 kg. They are shy and secretive, with family groups spending days burrowed under a nest which they construct piled-up with chopped sedge and grasses hidden in some thicket. They move with lightning rapidity through the thick vegetation and are bold and aggressive when confronted by enemies. They generally inflict attack on their enemies with their razor-sharp incisors.
Presently the entire boar population has been limited along a narrow foothill belt in the extreme northeastern border of Assam
. It has also been recorded that the female boars produce only one litter a year during the months of April-May or during the dry season.