Virus Lockdown for World’s Rarest Wild Pigs
Pygmy hogs — the world's smallest and rarest wild pig — are under a virus lockdown, but it has nothing to do with the coronavirus.
Officials in India are restricting the movement of pygmy hogs because of the country's first outbreak of African swine fever.
There are nearly 300 pygmy hogs living in the northeastern state of Assam. But scientists fear the virus could destroy these rare animals.
Adult pygmy hogs are very small. They grow to a height of about 25 centimeters. Pygmy hogs were thought to have died out in the 1960s. But over the past 20 to 30 years, a captive breeding program and other protective efforts have increased their numbers.
There is no vaccine or cure for the disease that has already killed over 16,000 domestic pigs, said Pradip Gogoi, an Assam state official. Domestic animals are bred and trained to accept the care of human beings.
Officials confirmed that African swine fever reached India on May 18. Scientists restricted entry to the pygmy hog breeding centers and took other steps, said Parag Deka. He heads the Pygmy Hog Conservation Program. The program is a project led by Indian officials, the Britain-based Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and a local not-for-profit group.
Deka told The Associated Press that the virus could possibly destroy the whole pygmy hog population. The virus spreads mainly by direct contact between pigs. It can also spread through infected meat or other materials.
Linda Dixon has been studying the virus at The Pirbright Institute in Britain. She explained that a vaccine for the swine fever is probably two or three years away. The virus kills almost all infected pigs, both wild and domestic, she added.
Scientists have set up two security fences at each of Assam state's breeding centers. No visitors are permitted, and cars cannot be left at the centers.
Workers who live outside the centers must leave their shoes at the entrance when they arrive. They must wash and clean themselves, and then put their feet in a special kind of cleaning solution. Then they can put on clean shoes to go inside.
"This is the new normal," Deka said.
Pygmy hogs are among the few mammals — and the only pig — that build large nests out of dried grass. They live in these nests in families of four or five.
The virus threat also means a change of diet for the rare pigs. While these animals still eat fruits and grains, they cannot eat vegetables that grow underground. This is because the virus survives longer in soil.
Keeping the pygmy hogs and the breeding centers secure is especially important now, Deka said. He noted that officials say that the virus has already begun spreading in wild boars in the area, making the disease more difficult to stop.
Deka says that because of economic issues, money has become a problem. Some aid groups said they no longer have enough to give aid. The result is that it is difficult to find money for new security measures and employee training.
"I believe that when you make a change, it will be hard in the beginning, messy in the middle and good at the end," he said. "Right now, we are between the hard and messy stage."
I'm John Russell.
The lunch was excellent, especially the first course.
The train was trapped underground by a fire.
Both countries are behaving with rare delicacy.
They were forced to practise cannibalism in order to survive.
5."I believe that when you make a change, it will be hard in the beginning, messy in the middle and good at the end," he said.
at the end 最终
He parted with us at the end of the trip.
At the end of the second week, my skin erupted in pimples.
6."Right now, we are between the hard and messy stage."
Right now 现在；立刻
If you have a problem with that, I want you to tell me right now.
We had some trouble in the village last night, but it's all right now.
在印度东北部的阿萨姆邦，生活着近300头侏儒猪 。但科学家担心，猪瘟会摧毁这些稀有动物 。
成年的侏儒猪体型也非常小 。它们能长到大约25厘米高 。人们认为，侏儒猪在20世纪60年代就已经灭绝了 。但在过去的二三十年里，圈养繁殖计划和其他保护措施让它们的数量有所增长 。
阿萨姆邦官员普拉迪普·戈戈伊（Pradip Gogoi）表示，这种导致1.6万头家猪死亡的瘟疫目前还没有疫苗或治疗方法 。家畜是指经过饲养和训练，方便接受人类照顾的动物 。
有关官员证实，非洲猪瘟已于5月18日蔓延至印度 。帕拉格·德卡（Parag Deka）表示，科学家们对进入侏儒猪饲养中心进行了限制，并采取了其他措施 。他是侏儒猪保护项目的负责人 。该项目由印度官员、英国达雷尔野生动物保护信托基金和当地一个非营利组织领导 。
德卡告诉美联社，这种猪瘟可能会摧毁整个侏儒猪种群 。该病毒主要通过猪类之间的直接接触传播 。甚至还可以通过被感染的肉类或其他介质传播 。
琳达·迪克森（Linda Dixon）一直在英国Pirbright研究所研究这种病毒 。她解释称，猪瘟疫苗的研制可能需要两三年的时间 。她补充说，这种病毒几乎杀死了所有被感染的猪，包括野猪和家猪 。
科学家们已经在阿萨姆邦的每个繁殖中心设置了两道安全围栏 。访客不得入内，车辆不得在中心逗留 。
在繁殖中心外面居住的工人到达时必须将鞋子放在入口处 。他们必须先清理自身，然后把脚放在一种特殊的清洁溶液里 。然后再穿上干净的鞋子入内 。
侏儒猪是为数不多的哺乳动物之一，也是唯一会用干草筑巢的猪 。它们通常会四五口生活在这些巢穴中 。
猪瘟的威胁也意味着侏儒猪的饮食结构改变 。虽然这些动物仍然吃水果和谷物，但它们不能吃地下生长的蔬菜 。因为病毒在土壤中存活的时间更长 。
德卡说，现在保护侏儒猪和繁殖中心的安全尤为重要 。他指出，官员们表示，猪瘟已经开始在该地区的野猪中传播，这会让瘟疫更难遏制 。
德卡说，由于经济问题，资金已经成为一个问题 。一些援助组织表示，已经没有足够的资金提供援助 。最终将很难募集资金来安排新的安全措施和员工培训 。
“我相信，当做出一些改变时，起初会很艰难，中间会很混乱，结局会好转，”他说 。“现在，我们正处于艰难和混乱的阶段 。”