If you’ve ever found yourself wishing that you could meet a muppet in real life, you’re in luck. Let us introduce you to your new favorite animal: the Mangalitza pig. Mangalitzas were first developed in Hungary in the 1800s, and although their popularity waned after World War II, they’ve enjoyed a resurgence since they were brought to the US in 2007. These versatile pigs have a thick, wooly, sheep-like coat that insulates them in cold weather, but they’ve also got black skin like a boar, which protects them from sun, so they’re pretty much perfect for any climate (as long as they can snuffle around in some dirt).
Credit: Orycteropus / Zoochat
Mangalitzas come in three varieties: blonde, swallow-bellied, and red. In addition to being super adorable, the Mangalitza pig is known for being smart, friendly, and easy-going. According to Wilhelm Kohl, a breeder who brought the first blonde variety to the US, “If you treat them nicely, they’ll become as tame as dogs — they’ll follow you, play with you.” Poodles everywhere are probably seething with jealousy. That being said, an adult male Mangalitza can weigh as much as 170 pounds, so they’re not exactly an indoor pet.
Credit: Lani Furbank
As cute as they are, these piggies can’t quite compete with sheep when it comes to wool production. However, Rectory Reserve, a farm in Lincolnshire, UK, is experimenting by combining the Mangalitza’s wool with longer fibers to make it more suitable for knitting, so a sweater made from Mangalitza yarn may not be too far in the future.
Main image credit: 4hektarai