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Sheep... or pig? Either way, woolly Mangalicas hog attention

We'd never heard of Mangalica pigs, either, yet now we're squealing with delight over them. But wool you want one for a pet, or for dinner?
/ Source: TODAY

Your first look at a Mangalica (Mangalitsa in the U.K.) pig is probably going to lead to a second, and a third ... and more. That's because most of us have never seen a pig that also happens to be covered in wool.

But thanks to social media, the Mangalica is fast becoming the cuddliest porker we ever did see. And we're squealing with delight!

It's a Hungarian breed of pig, and as breeder Wilhelm Kohl told Modern Farmer, "If you treat them nicely, they'll become as tame as dogs — they'll follow you, play with you."

Of course, some regard pigs more as pork than as pets. Kohl calls the Mangalica the "Kobe beef of pork." Its meat, he says, is marbled with fat, making it more delicious that what most pig breeds yield.

The Mangalica was originally developed in the 1800s and raised for its lard, but slowly lost favor as a pig of choice for farmers in Europe. The breed has seen a revival since the 1990s, and Mangalicas are now starting to be imported to the United States.

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Vienna-born, Michigan-based Kohl raises his pigs free-range. "The Mangalitsa pigs are great for that — they like to forage, dig for grubs, they don’t wait around for you to feed them," he says. "So they’re the perfect pig for what people want at this moment."

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Of course, most of us are just thinking about how we can sit down and pet one of these big guys — not eat it!

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