Critically Endangered warty pig is born at the zoo!
Published: 30th Mar 2016
The keepers at Newquay Zoo are celebrating after the arrival of a special baby.
The keepers at Newquay Zoo are celebrating after the arrival of a special baby. A Visayan warty piglet, which has yet to be named, was born in February and is now on show at the Zoo. Warty pigs originate from the Visayan Islands in the Philippeans and are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Not much is known about the pigs in the wild because there are so few of them; however the keepers at Newquay Zoo are obviously doing something right.
Head Curator John Meek is delighted with the arrival,’ 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.’
The IUCN Red List’s main purpose is to catalogue and highlight those plants and animals that are facing a higher risk of global extinction. Warty pigs are classified as critically endangered, because the species is currently undergoing a drastic population decline.
Newquay Zoo’s conservation efforts don’t stop at the breeding of warty pigs, they are also working to breed a grey slender loris with the existing male, and a new female which recently arrived from Belgium Zoo. Keepers introduced the pair last week and it’s now looking like love is in the air after a shaky start, as Senior Keeper Nicole Fenton who oversees all primates at the zoo explains, ‘Our new female loris arrived from Belgium and we released her into our nocturnal enclosure alongside our existing male loris. We kept them separate for a few days and then took the plunge and mixed them. I had my fingers crossed over night and was so pleased to see them snuggled up when I came in in the morning. We have high hopes that they will mate in the next few weeks.’
In the meantime, as the warty piglet the zoo also have some baby meerkats, otters and penguin chicks all on show to the public.
Newquay Zoo is an education, research and conservation charity dedicated to protecting global wildlife heritage and is owned by Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust (WWCT), a Devon based charity which also owns Paignton Zoo and Living Coasts in Torquay, as well as a number of nature reserves.