Pig racing a new entertainment in Visakhapatnam

Deccan Chronicle.  | V.Kamalakara Rao

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Pigs are released by contesting groups in the arena and there is even betting offered by owners of the pigs

There are about 800 families in areas like Arilova, Gajuwaka, Pendurthy, Kurmannapalem, Pedagantyada, PM Palam, Jnanapuram, Vepagunta, and Agnampudi that depend on pigs for their livelihood. — Representational image/Facebook

VISAKHAPATNAM: One may have seen cockfights in Visakhapatnam so far, but pig racing too has started in the port city – an unusual scene for many but an entertainment sport for a few.

Young people from families that raise pigs are getting actively involved in pig racing on weekends and occasions such as area goddess celebrations. Even pig racing groups have been formed. Each group has its own pig, which is specially trained for racing with special food.

Pigs are released by contesting groups in the arena and there is even betting offered by owners of the pigs. Owner of the winning pig ends up much richer. Sometimes, these pigs are even taken for racing to other cities including Rajahmundry and Bhimavaram.

There are about 800 families in areas like Arilova, Gajuwaka, Pendurthy, Kurmannapalem, Pedagantyada, PM Palam, Jnanapuram, Vepagunta, and Agnampudi that depend on pigs for their livelihood.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, an official of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), requesting anonymity, said they had caught a pig at around 9 a.m. on August 30 at Gnanapuram.

"We received several calls from the owner of the pig. Even some local leaders called asking us to release the pig immediately. During our inquiries, we came to know that the pig we caught was a racer and valued at around Rs. 40,000. We did not return the pig," the official maintained, showing a photograph of the pig.

The official said even some well-educated youth, including B. Tech and M. Tech students from nearby colleges, are participating and betting thousands on pig races.

"As a rule, no racing is allowed. But it goes on," said another GVMC official involved in enforcement drive against the pig menace since past few months. He disclosed that total 4,482 pigs have been caught as of September 3 from June this year. According to an estimate, the city has a population of about 20,000 pigs.

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