What weighs between 10 to 20 kilos, measures around 30 centimeters and can even live up to 20 years? Believe it or not, it’s a mini-pig, the latest pet craze sweeping animal-mad Mexico.
These cute and cuddly pigs are rather susceptible to the cold and need to wear a coat in the winter months, but unlike your average cat or dog, follow a diet of fruits and vegetables.
Reaching around $1,500 on the Mexican market, mini-pigs are now something of an ‘it’ pet.
“The customers definitely aren’t normal people, do you know hipsters? It’s something similar, they basically all are, it’s a product for wannabes,” Carlos León breeder and owner of the company Mini Puerqitos told BBC Mundo.
“We understand the need for a different type of pet, something more appropriate for certain people, in particular those who are allergic to cats or dogs,” explains Daniel Muñoz, head of marketing for Mini Pigs DF.
Some mini-pigs have even gone on to become stars in their own right.
Meet Chata, belonging to Ángel Arredondo’s girlfriend. This hipster pig now weighs some 65 kilos and is over a meter in height – despite being sold as a mini-pig.
— Piggy (@PigsTrough) December 17, 2015
Chata is an example of a different type of problem plaguing the mini-pig market – lack of pedigree or a valid breeding certificate. Ángel has since been stopped in the Mexican capital for walking his giant pig in public.
This complicated market might have affected some buyers, but Mexico’s love of mini-pigs looks set to continue for now.