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Mini-Pigs And Tiny Tigers

Mini-Pigs And Tiny Tigers

By Riaz Bhunnoo

I think most people would agree that it would be simply impractical to keep a full sized pig or tiger in your own home. But what if you could obtain a miniature version? Well, following years of breeding, the ‘mini-pig’ and the ‘toyger’ have now emerged.

The mini-pig is the result of nine years of breeding at a farm in Devon and is a variant of the rare kune kune breed found in New Zealand. At a fifth of the size of an ordinary pig, they are apparently easy to house-train and have a good temperament. I’m pleased to hear, however, that they won’t be appearing on restaurant menus - too little meat (images come to mind of a stiff-upper-lipped waiter: “pig for one, sir?”).

The toyger is the result of fifteen years of selective breeding. Fortunately, these pint-sized little devils were not bred directly from tigers, so your little finger isn’t at risk. They were actually bred from cats with similar physical features to tigers. A cat-lover spotted a wild tabby roaming the streets with distinctive tiger-like stripes so she took it home to breed with her pets, as you do. Over the years, features from other cats’ were bred in including a rounded nose, a defined muzzle and a black tipped tail. The final result is a cheeky little tiger, sorry toyger, with a striking orange and black striped coat and athletic build.

If you hold your head to one side and squint a bit, then you might see a resemblance to a tiger. No? Ah well.
Now I’m personally all for things getting smaller, within reason. For example, Hitachi recently announced a nanotechnology breakthrough that could see 4 terabyte hard-drives two-thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair by 2011. One terabyte is equivalent to 1000 gigabytes so this tiny drive could literally hold more than a million songs. Gone are the days of trying to squeeze your personal CD player into your bag alongside a limited selection of your ‘best’ CDs. When it comes to animals, however, I think the line has to be drawn.

We’ll never hear the end of it when Paris Hilton replaces her pampered pooch with pampered porkers. And what’s next, dare I ask, a mini-horse cantering around the living room?  I, for one, will be sticking to more traditional pets. Now where is that cheetah?..

If you can't wait to get your hands on a pint sized porker then get yourself down to Pennywell Farm in Devon, UK. For a toyger, try

Read more from Riaz or get some heavy petting from these articles:

- Scary - When pets attack
- Funny - Cat flight a possibility
- Fatties - Horses are obese say researchers
- Weird - Woman gives birth to rabbit
Title image: Pennywell Farm
Toyger: WildFX Cats

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29 Dec 2010
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