Endangered Visayan warty pigs born at San Diego Zoo

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wart1What could be cuter than little warty piglets? Two extremely cute, rare, and unfortunately endangered Visayan warty pigs are now old enough to receive visitors at the San Diego Zoo. Born in June, the babies are still being nursed by mom, while they start to enjoy a diet of vegetables, fruits and their favorite, lettuce.

In spite of being saddled with the unflattering name of warty, the pigs do not have especially large warts on their faces. They do possess, however, very elongated snouts, together with an oval-shaped nose and upturned tusks protruding from the bottom of their mouths. When full-grown, the masculine warty pigs have bigger warts and more pronounced tusks. All Visayan pigs have rust-colored to black hair, which in the males can grow to mane-like lengths used to attract the ladies during the mating time.wart2

The warty pigs are only found in the wild on the Visayan Islands, located in the central part of the Philippine Islands. But, today, they are hardly ever seen outside of zoos. Their natural homes have been destroyed, and their numbers radically reduced by centuries of hunting and cross-breeding with other pig species. Since the early 2000’s, 80 of the critically endangered animals have been born at the San Diego Zoo.

wart3Getting the pigs back into the wild is the ultimate goal of the San Diego Zoo’s Global organization. Taking the Visayan Warty Pigs, as well as many other animal and plant species, off of the endangered lists are part of the reason for existence of the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. These programs work in concert with similar groups on all six continents. Funding comes in part from the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

These newest piglets, along with their parents and two pig aunts, are currently available to entertain you in the Panda Canyon.

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