World’s rarest piglets make their debut... Warts and all!
Meet Pebbles (pictured) and BamBam, two rare Visayan warty piglets, recently born at Cotswold Wildlife Park. This species is almost extinct in the wild, so these new births are very significant.
It’s also the first litter father Fred and mother Wilma have produced since being at the Park. Fred came from a collection in Rotterdam and Wilma from one in Poland. Cotswold Wildlife Park is one of only six collections in the UK to keep these unusual pigs.
Visayan warty pigs are rarest of all wild pigs. Classified as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, they are facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. Originally native to six islands within the Philippines, they have tragically become extinct from four of them due to deforestation and hunting. Cotswold Wildlife Park is part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) helping to protect these pigs from extinction.
Curator, Jamie Craig, said: “It is a real success to have bred this Critically Endangered species. Our warty pigs are a new pair and their offspring will help to bolster the captive population. Despite this being their first litter, they have proved to be excellent and attentive parents, keeping a watchful eye on the two energetic piglets as they explore their enclosure.”
Warts and all!
Their unusual names derives from the fact they have warts on their faces. It is believed these warts help protect them against the tusks of rival pigs during fighting. Boars also grow thick, hairy manes which they can raise to increase their size and presence, not only to impress females during the mating season, but also to intimidate rival males when they feel threatened.
Visitors can see the new family in their paddock next to the flamingo lake and the wolf enclosure.
Cotswold Wildlife Park is open all year round and is located just outside Burford half way between Cheltenham and Oxford.
20 July 2011
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