One of the World's Rarest Pigs Born in a Zoo
The Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom celebrated the birth of a Visayan warty piglet on December 24, 2021. The Visayan warty pig is considered to be one of the rarest wild pig species in the world, with an estimated 200 remaining in the wild. They are listed as critically endangered by the International Union of Conservation for Nature as habitat destruction and hunting have pushed the species close to extinction in their native forests of the Philippines.
An endangered species breeding program involving zoos around Europe is attempting to maintain a genetically viable population of the Visayan warty pig. This new piglet addition is integral to that mission and joins a family of 5 Visayan warty pigs already at the Chester Zoo.
In a press release, Mark Bradshaw, Chester Zoo’s curator of mammals, said, ‘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 program and will help champion the plight of this fascinating, charismatic species.’