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A small pig with spots eating dirt.The exact origin of the feral pigs of Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand, is not known and has given rise to much speculation. It has been suggested that they were introduced by whalers and early farmers on Arapawa Island during the middle of the nineteenth century, as no feral livestock was seen on Arapawa Island by visitors who described the island in some detail in the late 1830s. The breed has remained pure and roamed parts of the island ever since. The wild pigs have stories of ferocity, but first-hand encounters reveal they have more of a "leave us alone and we'll leave you alone" attitude toward humans. They are similar to the original Oxford Sandy-and-Black or the unimproved Berkshires and Tamworths. Several attempts were made over the years to catch some of the pigs, but until the late 1990s there were only a few adults on the An orange pig with erect ears and black spots.mainland of New Zealand, and they were critically endangered on Arapawa Island itself. Then in 1998 four healthy piglets were recovered from the Island and these have been successfully bred from, although numbers over-all are still critical. Arapawa pigs are somewhat larger than some other New Zealand feral pigs and many are an attractive tan with black patches. However, other colors occur, including pure black.

A baby black and white spotted Arapawa Island pig.




Porter, Valerie, 1993, Pigs - A Handbook to the Breeds of the World, Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca, New York, pp 256


Betty Rowe, Picton, New Zealand

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