Pigs on Afghanistan postage stamps

Sus scrofa

A year ago Khanzir was released from quarantine where he had been since 3 May 2009 as a result of H1N1 concerns. Khanzir has been labeled as “Afghanistan’s only known pig” and is a resident of the Kabul Zoo. The pig was one of a pair and part of a planeload of animals, sent from China to help Afghanistan restock its zoo after war violence. In Afghanistan, pork and pig products are illegal, and so pig farming is nonexistent. Wild boars were once quite common in the riverbeds of Afghanistan, but have dwindled in numbers as access to firearms has become more common. The wild boar isn’t hunted for meat, but rather to prevent the boars from damaging crops. Today it is most common in the north central, especially along the border with Uzbekistan in the Amu Darya River basin. The wild boar was recognized 5 May 1984 on one of the Afghanistan postage stamps: Scott #1082.

A second stamp featuring the wild boar is somewhat common. It is bears the print “Afghan Post” and the date 1998, but is condemned by the Afghan Ministry of Communications and has been called a “false stamp” by Mavlavi Allahdad Balkhi, President of Post of the Afghanistan Postal Administration.

"False" Afghan pig stamp.

References:

Mammals of Afghanistan by Khushal Habibi

A survey of the mammals of Afghanistan, resulting from the 1965 Street Expedition (excluding bats) by Jerry D. Hassinger, Street Expedition to Afghanistan

Afghanistan: a companion and guide by Bijan Omrani, Matthew Leeming, Elizabeth Chatwin

Scott 2010 Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue: United States and Affiliated Territories, United Nations, Countries of the World A-B edited by James E. Kloetzel, William A Jones, JR, Martin J Frankevicz

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