The Animal Facts Editorial Team
March 15, 2023 9:30 pm
London Zoo, London, The United Kingdom
Tess the Visayan warty pig is gearing up for her first mother's day at ZSL London Zoo after giving birth to her son, Tadeo late last year. The piglets arrival was welcome news being the first Visayan warty pig ever born at the conservation zoo. This species is endangered in their native Asia with just 200 left making each individual precious.
Zookeeper Donovan Glyn said: “Tadeo isn’t just important to his mother Tess - who has diligently cared for her first little one since his December arrival, barely letting him out of her sight - but also to his species: Visayan warty pigs are Critically Endangered and Tadeo is part of an important European-wide collaborative breeding programme for the species.
Populations of the Visayan warty pig are in decline across the six islands they inhabit in the Philippines due to deforestation.
The name Tadeo is taken from Filipino and means ‘praise.' He has been hitting a number of growth milestones since his birth and recently enjoyed exploring the snow after a cold snap.
“Tadeo is very social and playful,” said Don. “He’s enjoying exploring his woody, muddy environment and testing out his terrific sense of smell by seeking out tasty snacks hidden by zookeepers; at the moment his favourite food is sweet corn.”
ZSL are working to ensure a bright future for the Visayan warty pig both through supporting the captive breeding of the species and combatting deforestation by promoting transparency in the global supply chains of timber, palm oil and rubber harvested from tropical forests. Their work is also helping to restore mangrove forests in the Philippines through blue carbon finance to provide essential habitats for threatened species.
Visayan warty pigs are often referenced as the 'rockstars' of the animal world owing to their groovy mane which the males sport during the breeding season. This is thought to be irresistible to the females and increases the males chance of breeding success.
Image: © ZSL London Zoo
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