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“Harry Potter” Pigs Arrive at London Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: August 14, 2020 12:50 pm

babirusa london

A pair of babirusa have arrived at ZSL London Zoo

Photo Credit: ZSL London Zoo

ZSL London Zoo in the United Kingdom has welcomed the arrival of two babirusa known as Budi and Beth, a new species for the zoo.

While the hairless pigs are commonly known as ‘demon pigs’ keepers at London Zoo are hopeful that the new arrivals will win hearts. Already the keepers are won over comparing the pair to characters from the book series, Harry Potter.

Keeper Hannah Joy said, “Budi has very Lupin-like features while Beth resembles Dobby, and just like those famous characters they’ve absolutely won us all over – the way they wag their long stringy tails when they’re happy is a joy to see.”

These babirusa arrived in London on July 10th from Chester Zoo. Their arrival was just a month after London Zoo reopened following their closure during lockdown. They started their stay at London Zoo by settling in, in the off-show dens but have now started to venture in to their paddocks.

Joy said, “Budi and Beth have both settled into their new home really well. They’ve been busy building their own nests out of straw, rolling around in their mud wallow and have even bravely dipped a hoof into their new swimming pool.

“Pigs are naturally very good swimmers, but as Budi and Beth are still youngsters we’re taking their swimming lessons one day at a time – we're confident they’ll both be showing off their skills in no time!”

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babirusa london

A babirusa enjoying the mud mallow at ZSL LondonZ oo

Photo Credit: ZSL London Zoo

Babirusa are found in the wild on a number of Indonesian islands and are listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as vulnerable on their red list. Threats to their survival include habitat loss and the bush meat trade.


Joy said, “Pigs are naturally very good swimmers, but as Budi and Beth are still youngsters we’re taking their swimming lessons one day at a time – we're confident they’ll both be showing off their skills in no time!”


“With their wrinkly grey skin and long wet snouts no one could call babirusa pigs beautiful. In fact, their traditional nicknames aren’t kind at all; people who live alongside them in Indonesia call them rat pigs or demon pigs, because of their long, misshapen tusks – which are actually teeth growing through their noses that curl backwards.


“People might say that Budi and Beth have faces that only Newt Scamander could love, but they really are fantastic beasts who need our help – and you can find them at London Zoo!,” finished Joy.


Learn more about ZSL London Zoo on their website – ZSL London Zoo

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