UK zoo celebrates birth of world’s rarest Visayan warty piglets - with pictures
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A UK zoo has recently celebrated the birth of two rare piglets. The Visayan warty piglet is one of the rarest breeds in the world and is on the brink of extinction.
The pair of pigs are the second successful litter born at Newquay Zoo, Cornwall following the birth of their older siblings, Kevin Bacon and Amy Swinehouse last year. Their mother, May, and her partner, Randy, are part of a breeding programme to help increase the number of Visayan warty pigs worldwide.
There are thought to be as few as 200 of the critically endangered pigs left in the wild due to habitat destruction and hunting. The species have become extinct in 98% of their former range, and can now only be found on two Philippine islands in isolated areas.
Dave Rich, Keeper Team Leader at Newquay Zoo, said: “After our breeding success with two warty piglets last year, we are so pleased to welcome these new arrivals and to continue helping increase the Visayan warty pig population.
“Our warty pigs are full of character, and the new arrivals are no exception! They have already been exploring their enclosure under mum, May’s, watchful eye.”
Though the species are called ‘warty’ pigs, it is only the males that sport three pairs of warts on their faces, which has naturally occurred to protect the breed while fighting. Males also grow impressive long manes during the mating season, which help to attract mates and also intimidate other males.