One of the rarest animals in the world was born at the world famous Chester Zoo.
Chester Zoo has announced the arrival of a Visayan warty piglet on Christmas Eve, born to mum Gwen, 9, and dad Tre, 10. The male piglet joins a family of five.
The Visayan warty pig, native to the Philippines, is one of the rarest animals in the world, designated a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The category indicates the most serious threat level before extinction in the wild.
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Chester Zoo was the UK’s first zoo to care for Visayan warty pigs, a species named after three pairs of fleshy warts on the boar’s face.
Experts at the Chester Zoo say agricultural expansion and logging have devastated vast amounts of their natural habitat in the Philippines. They are also hunted for their meat, making them one of the rarest feral pigs on the planet.
Little is currently known about these animals in the wild, and experts say that by working closely with them in the zoo, they can transfer knowledge to further support animals in the wild.
Mark Brayshaw, curator of mammals at Chester Zoo, said: “It’s fantastic to see any animal being born, but when it’s critically endangered and fighting for its survival in the wild, it makes it even more special. Baby piglets are incredibly energetic and playful, so the whole group will certainly be very busy over the next few months!
“Visayan warty pigs aren’t just your average pig. During the breeding season, males develop a long mane protruding from their heads, giving them a hairstyle similar to that of a mohawk. Mum Gwen and Dad Tre both are named after punk rockers Gwen Stefani and Tre Cool because of this iconic look, and I’m sure it won’t be long before we’ve decided on a suitable name to follow in. this tradition. “
Mark added: “Each piglet is a vital addition to the breeding program and will help defend the plight of this fascinating and charismatic species. “