Thursday 31 March 2016

Warts and all: critically endangered warty piglet on show in Cornwall

Visitors to Newquay zoo can now catch a glimpse of Visayan warty piglet born in February
Press Association
Saturday 26 March 2016 18.47 GMT
Last modified on Saturday 26 March 201619.13 GMT

Zookeepers are celebrating the birth of a critically endangered warty piglet.

The Visayan warty piglet was born in February at Newquay zoo in Cornwall, where it is now on show.

Warty pigs originate from the Visayan Islands in the Philippines, where they live in dense forested areas.

The species, which is in rapid decline, is listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list.

John Meek, curator of animals at Newquay zoo, said: “I am really thrilled we have successfully bred a warty piglet, as the species is in dire straits and without intervention from us they are in danger of becoming extinct.

“We had to keep it inside for the first few weeks as it’s been so wet, but the piglet is thriving and visitors can now catch a glimpse of it out and about.”

Habitat destruction and over-hunting have been blamed for the warty pig population almost becoming extinct in the wild.

Little is known about the pigs, which were only recognised as a species in their own right in 1997.

Male warty pigs are much larger than females and develop long crests and manes – similar to a mohawk hairstyle – in the breeding season.

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