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Warty Piglet is Early Christmas Present for Chester Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: December 25, 2021 12:01 am

Visayan Warty Piglet Chester Zoo

A Visayan warty piglet born on November 16th 2021 is seen at Chester Zoo

Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

Conservationists at Chester Zoo have revealed their latest additions days before Christmas. A male Visayan warty piglet was born on November 16th 2021 to mother Gwen and father Tre.

With as few as 200 remaining in the wild each addition to their population is important for the critically endangered species. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have listed the species as critically endangered.

Their populations have been declining due to agricultural expansion and logging. They are also hunted for food or as retribution for them digging up crops.

The new arrival joins the endangered species breeding programme for the Visayan warty pig which aims to ensure the European population of the species is genetically viable.

Chester Zoo were the first zoo in the United Kingdom to care for a group of Visayan warty piglets.

Visayan Warty Piglet Chester Zoo

A Visayan warty piglet born on November 16th 2021 is seen with mother Gwen at Chester Zoo

Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

Mark Brayshaw, Curator of Mammals at Chester Zoo, said:

 

“It’s fantastic to see the birth of any animal, but when they’re critically endangered and fighting for survival in the wild, it makes it even more special. Baby piglets are incredibly energetic and playful, and so the whole group will certainly be kept very busy over the coming months!

 

“Visayan warty pigs aren’t just your average pig. During breeding season, males develop a long, protruding mane from their head, giving them a mohawk-like hairstyle. Both mum Gwen and dad Tre are named after punk rockers Gwen Stefani and Tre Cool as a result of this iconic look, and I’m sure it won’t be long until we’ve decided a suitable name to follow in that tradition.

 

“Every piglet is a vital addition to the breeding programme and will help champion the plight of this fascinating, charismatic species.”

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The population of Visayan warty pigs at Chester Zoo are also helping their wild cousins. Only recently recognized as its own species, little is known about the Visayan warty piglet.

Stuart Young, Regional Field Programme Manager for South East Asian Islands at Chester Zoo, explains:

 

“Working with Visayan warty pigs in the zoo gives us the opportunity to study these animals in a way we never would have been able to in the wild.

 

“However, the important knowledge gathered here at the zoo is then shared with our partners at the Talarak Foundation in Negros, the Philippines, and has helped with the reintroduction of 19 Visayan warty pigs back into the wild. The pigs were reintroduced to Bayawan Nature Reserve in Negros in July 2020, where the animals had been extinct for more than 10 years. We’re absolutely delighted to reveal that the population is now thriving and 10 piglets have been born since they were rehomed.

 

“Although pigs can sometimes be overlooked, and don’t gather the attention that other bigger mammals receive, they play a really important role in the ecosystem – which is why we must continue to prevent their extinction.”

Unfortunately the base of the Talarak Foundation was recently hit by a typhoon which damaged fences and buildings. Chester Zoo is helping fund some of the repair works to their base.

Learn more about Chester Zoo on their website – Chester Zoo

Visayan Warty Piglet Chester Zoo

A Visayan warty piglet born on November 16th 2021 is seen at Chester Zoo

Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

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