Meet Angus, The Pig-Sheep with Thick, Curly Coat of Hair


  • Angus is the resident “the pig-sheep” from Peace Ridge Sanctuary, who became popular for his characteristic appearance.
  • Mangalitsa pigs are covered in thick, curly hair during the winter months, with mops of hair protecting their undercoat.
  • These are considered as one of the oldest domestic breeds whose population dwindled over time, but recent interest directed towards these pig-sheep breeds resulted in an increase in population.

Mangalitsa is a domestic breed, otherwise called “the pig-sheep”. These animals are covered in thick, curly hair during the winter months, with mops of hair protecting their undercoat.

Angus is the resident “the pig-sheep” from Peace Ridge Sanctuary. Maine Animal Welfare Program rescued the animal from a farm, under horrible living conditions.

 “When he first came in he was pretty nervous, but he’s now a large and bossy pig,” said Melissa Andrews, Director of Development, Humane Education and Outreach at Peace Ridge Sanctuary.

“The Mangalitsas are a Hungarian heritage breed and they almost look like sheep when they have their full winter coats on,” Melissa said. “Then they shed the entire coat in the summer and are pretty close to bald. So it’s a pretty big transformation watching him throughout the year.”

The Mangalitsa or Mangalica breeds are products of crossbreeding. In the 1830s, Szalonta and Bakony were crossed with Serbian Šumadija breeds for this domesticated breed, considered one of the oldest pig breeds in Europe. However, the population of these animals decreased. In the 1990s, these animals were reduced to about 200, but a recent resurgence in popularity due to interest resulted in an increase.  

Luckily, these problems are gone. Today, Angus is comfortable with his arrangements inside the animal sanctuary, where he is able to find himself a group of friends.

“He lives in a small group with two other large pigs,” Melissa said. “He likes to sleep next to them at night, and go on little adventures with his best friend Wilbur.”

“He taught Wilbur how to be a bit naughty,” Melissa added. “Wilbur was one of our best-behaved pigs until he met Angus and then Angus was like, ‘Hey, let’s cause trouble.’”

Angus is not different from other domestic pigs, his physical appearance aside. There is something about the animal, perhaps his difficult experience before his rescue, that pushes him to look out for his friends inside the animal sanctuary.

“He’s very pig-like, just like all pigs — they’re really smart, they’re really clean and tidy,” Melissa said. “He watches over the other pigs in the group and as the dominant pig he’s really protective of his little friends.”

Source: The Dodo


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