Loved Up Animals Celebrate Valentines at Whipsnade Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: February 14, 2022 11:33 pm

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Valentines Day

A giraffe couple enjoy a treat together for Valentine's Day at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Photo Credit: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Zookeepers at the UK's largest zoo have helped some of their animal couples to celebrate Valentine's Day. Some of the couples which are part of important breeding programs at the zoo include Endangered reticulated giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) and Critically Endangered Visayan warty pigs (Sus cebifrons).

Team leader Donovan Glyn said “Many of Whipsnade Zoo’s 10,000 animals are part of vital, conservation breeding programmes. Hopefully our ‘romantic dinners’ will encourage our animals to get to know each other better, and if we are lucky, we will hear the pitter-patter of tiny hooves in the not-so-distant future!”

Giraffe couple, 11-year-old Bashu and seven-year-old Luna, were treated to their favorite meal of willow and cotoneaster branches. These were woven by keepers in to a heart shape.

Elsewhere in the park, Manny and Pixie, two Visayan warty pigs (sometimes known as ‘punk pigs’ because of their spiky, long manes) joined together for a treat of carrots, sweet potatoes and apples in a heart shape.

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“Valentine’s Day is for everyone, and while it’s vital for us to bring together our elegant, Endangered giraffes for the conservation of their species, we care just as much

about our lesser-known and Critically Endangered Visayan warty pigs. 

“For our male pig Manny, this is tantamount to his first date. He’s young and is still working out what do with the ladies. His tusks are starting to come through, and he’s beginning to grow the spiky ‘punk hairstyle’ that male Visayan warty pigs are known for. Although fairly small now, as a male, he will grow twice as heavy as Pixie in time. 

Giraffe dating is a bit different to ours. When a male giraffe wants to mate, he brushes her bottom with his nose to encourage her to urinate. When she does, he tastes the urine for hormones, to work out whether she is ovulating. It’s maybe not what a human would look for in a date, but it certainly gets the job done!" finished Donovan. 

Learn more about Giraffes here - Giraffe Fact File | The Animal Facts

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

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Valentines Day

A Visayan warty pig couple enjoy a treat together for Valentine's Day at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Photo Credit: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

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